I am not going to criticize Buck for keeping Chen in the game because I thought he was done. I didn’t think he was done and certainly didn’t anticipate him giving up a 2 run homer.
However, I was surprised that he stuck with Chen for another reason. His bullpen needs some work, and this was a good time to do it.
Tommy Hunter hasn’t pitched since Saturday, neither has Jim Johsnon. Brian Matusz hasn’t thrown since Sunday. New acquisition Frankie Rodriguez last pitched on Sunday.
That’s a lot of guys that need to throw an inning to stay sharp.
Plus, Matusz and Hunter have only one appearance since the All-Star break a week and a half ago.
That’s why I was surprised to see Chen out there for the 8th. I expected Buck to bring Hunter in the 8th, and then Johnson in the 9th. That’s why they’re there.