There’s no disputing that Buck Showalter is one of the finest managers in MLB, most clubs would hire him in a heartbeat.
Yet, there’s not much disputing of his mishandling of the bullpen both Saturday in New York, and during the Wild Card defeat in Toronto last night. It was inexcusable to leave Wade Miley in that long, with the most effective bullpen in the game well rested. Sure the pen gave up the decisive runs, but Miley was clearly out of gas. That lost cost the Birds a home game they could have benefited from in the Wild Card.
Which brings us to his failure to utilize the sport’s top closer, Zach Britton. Having Britton stand in the bullpen in a ONE game playoff – not a best of 3, or 5, or 7, was unfathomable and merits scrutiny.
Mind you, the bats were essentially invisible (no hits after the 6th inning and no base runners in extra innings). However, in a “must win” situation you go with your best, and that wasn’t Ubaldo Jimenez. It was simply Britton. The choice to leave him out befuddled fans and media.
Buck is still a top notch skipper and I want him back, but does anyone else feel like Buck dropped the ball like Lee Evans once did?