When Joe Maddon went to the mound to give Grant Balfour the ball in the 6th I was a little confused. Why get a right-handed pitcher that relies heavily on the fastball to face a Curtis Granderson, a lefty who loves to hit fastballs (he already dropped one into the seats)?
But, I trust the skipper. I figured that he is looking at numbers that I am not looking at and, based on those numbers, Balfour was the guy that gets us out of this jam. In fact, I was all set to write a nice post this morning supporting the skipper and reminding everyone not to use hindsight to second guess him.
Then I read the paper. How on God’s green earth does Balfour get into the game when Maddon wanted Choate? That is a joke. Right? He is kidding? Nope:
“I went out there and I was on the mound, and all of a sudden I’m giving the ball to the pitcher and it didn’t look like Randy Choate,” Maddon said.
I don’t know what to say. I guess I will give Maddon some credit for admitting his mistake and not trying to justify the decision in hindsight. But not too much credit. I am really at a loss here.
Do the Rays win if Randy Choate pitches? I don’t know. But that is a terrible way to lose.