It's time for Brewers manager Ned Yost to start thinking about managing with his gut instead of playing everything by the book and going with the percentages. Besides, where has that gotten him over the last 2 months?
The Brewers lost a big game on Labor Day to the Houston Astros 9-7, blowing a three-run lead after 7 innings. That's the 15th time this season the Brewers have blown a 3+ run lead late, which is incredible.
With the Brewers up 2 and the bullpen leaking badly, lefty Brian Shouse was on the mound with the hot hitting Hunter Pence stepping to the plate. Manager Ned Yost figured he'd turn Pence around, indicating after the game that Pence was about 70 points higher as a right handed batter.
Percentage wise, probably a good move. But take into account that Shouse has been the Brewers best reliever out of the bullpen in the last month. He was even named the Brewers Pitcher of the Month for August earlier. Now throw in who Yost is going to when Shouse is gone. Greg Aquino ! Nothing against Aquino, but he just got called up a couple of days ago and hadn't been with the Brewers since May. When you're having a hard time closing out big games, you go to Aquino?
And then when asked about it after the game, Yost excused himself by saying you criticize this move, but had he left Shouse in there and Pence hit a home run, then everyone would be all over that move. I'm getting the feeling that Yost is beginnining to manage by making moves that may offer the least amount of criticism if they don't work out.
Ordinally, Shouse is at lefty vs. lefty only guy. But he's been getting everybody out of late and really has been the Brewers best answer out of the pen. I wouldn't be comfortable sending anybody in the Brewers bullpen out to the mound against Hunter Pence, but if I had to select one player, Shouse just may be the guy given his success the past month.
And had Yost stayed with Shouse and Shouse failed, then all he had to say was I went with my hottest pitcher and he got beat.
Yost just got the old vote of confidence from team owner Mark Attanasio yesterday. If he's not careful, that vote of confidence will be followed by a firing, just like most every other vote of confidence that happens to take place in pro sports.
You've got a month to go Ned. Your players are playing like garbage and you're taking all of the heat for it. Some of it justified and some of it not. So what are you going to do to make a difference? I'll give you one piece of advice, don't put Greg Aquino in another meaningful late inning situation. I can't believe percentage wise that Aquino was a better choice than Shouse.