One of the story lines that has been lost in the Giants offensive explosion is the two vastly different ways that Bruce Bochy and Ron Washington have handled their two bullpens.
Bochy has not been gun shy to use his biggest arms, even if it isn't the typical situation that you would see them during the regular season. He has managed the game with aggression going for the jugular making sure to keep Texas from coming back to life like so many horror movie villains.
Washington has done the opposite. In the bottom of the 8th inning of game 1 with his team down 4 runs he turned to the bottom of the bullpen guy Mark Lowe, he of the 5.40 ERA this season who responded by giving up 3 runs in the 5 batters that he faced. The insurance runs were huge.
This decision isn't without justification but it pretty much signaled that Texas was giving up on this game. With their offense a 4 run deficit shouldn't be a fold situation, not in the World Series were every game is huge.
The timid managing continued in last nights game. Again in the bottom of the 8th down by 2 runs which with a team that boasts having a good offense isn't a massive deficit the Rangers manager was timid in bringing in his best reliever to stop the bleeding.
Darren O'Day who did a decent job got the first 2 guys of the inning out and then gave up a single to demi-god Buster Posey. There is no shame in that and he was lifted for a left hander to gain the platoon advantage against Nate Schierholtz, another justifiable move. The only issue was that Derek Holland had no control that lead to 3 straight walks.
The next guy Washington called for? Again Mark Lowe. Why wouldn't you go to your bullpen ace in this situation? There are 2 outs, you are down 3-0 with the bases loaded. If you give up a hit here the game starts to get out of hand, if you can manage the damage you still have a shot.
Instead Washington went with this arguable 7th best reliever to get a very critical out when the bullpen ace sat on the bench not even throwing in the pen.
I do not understand the call to not bring in Neftali Feliz here. You have to believe that in the best case Perez can get 4 outs and at worst case he gets one out and has a travel day to rest. It isn't the typical spot to play your closer but this isn't a typical regular season game.
In a similar situation in game 1 Bruce Bochy did not hesitate to bring in his big gun to stop a late rally that his mop guys created. In the World Series you play to win in the regular season you save arms, Bochy played the situation correctly Washington didn't.
That is the difference here. Bochy used his bullpen aggressively like there is no tomorrow and each game is the most important of the season, while Washington saved his best reliever for a game that may never come.
Bochy continues to out manage his counterparts, I would have never thought it.
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