I usually don't make posts during games, but I can't wait, my thoughts on Joe Maddon's handling of Jae Seo after the jump.
The Rays entered the bottom of the third up 5-3 on the Texas Rangers, coming off of a five run top portion of the inning, including knocking the Rangers' starter, Jamey Wright, out of the game.
Wright had allowed five runs, in one inning, and was yanked by Ron Washington. I've been quiet thus far about Maddon and his handling of starters and the bullpen this year, but tonight is the breaking point.
On Friday night James Shields entered the seventh inning nearing 100 pitches and even from my living room I could tell he was tiring, I called for the pen, of course if I were Joe Maddon it may help, but I'm not, and Shields was left in, and went on to blow the lead and lose his win. The Rays would go on to win in that dramatic ninth inning, but James was left with nothing to show.
Last night Edwin Jackson was replaced, again after nearing 100 pitches, with two runners on by Shawn Camp, who promptly allowed both to circle the bases along with two additional, Ruddy Lugo would come in and do the same. Camp was previously 2/2 allowing inherited runners to score, in other words, he hadn't been clutch in this season, albeit early, the Rays would lose thanks to that six run swing that produced zero outs.
Tonight, Jae Seo allows seven runs in one inning, and is allowed to continue after blowing a two run lead. Folks, I was calling for Jae Kuk Ryu after two runners were on, that was seven runs before hand. Heck I even joked with a friend Ryu would probably come in and get a 1-2-3 inning, Ryu's first inning line: 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 outs, perfect.
Look I like Joe Maddon, he's quirky, unique, very abstract, and seems like an enjoyable conversationalist, but Joe, you've got to work on this pitching thing. I blamed it on Mike Butcher, the obvious scapegoat, and I figured since Hickey was a better pitching coach (and I think he is) that Maddon would have some help managing the pen and pitchers, nope.
There seems to be a term floating around that Joe Magrane has been using about Maddon's technique, "letting pitchers work through it," well umm...Joe, are we trying to win ball games or what here? Consistently putting Clumpo (thanks JWallace) into difficult situations will not help this team win. Consistently overextending pitchers like Shields, Kazmir, and Jackson will not help this ball club win. Consistently overestimating pitchers like Seo and Fossum will not help this organization become victorious.
Joe, this is your job on the line pal, and so far your complete lack of pitching management will be your downfall it appears, and heck I haven't even mentioned your lineup shuffling this past weekend placing Pena and Wigginton in the lineup effectively over Upton.
You chilled us over with your fine wine and literature choices, I mean I'm sure Malcolm Gladwell enjoyed the free advertising, and if you really did read Blink, you should know to go on gut instincts, you know what my gut tells me when Camp or Lugo come in? Or when Fossum is left out for seven earned runs, placing the game away, or Seo throws over 40 pitches in one inning and allows 10 earned runs? It tells me you're not capable of leading a Major League club to the place we should be, now, and in two years.
Sorry Joe, it's not you, it's your decisions.