I’ll admit, at this point in the season getting fired up over the minutiae of managerial decisions is hard to do. As much as Roenicke gets under our skin, it really doesn’t matter too much.
Last night however, oh, last night.
In the 8th inning of a tie game, Carlos Gomez reaches on an error. The cool thing about Carlos Gomez is how fast he is. When he’s at second base he’s scoring on anything that gets into the outfield. He’ll routinely make it to 3rd on a ground ball in the infield when most guys would be glued to the base. He’ll often steal 2B or 3B, or take the base on a ball in the dirt. He’s really fast and awesome.
With Gomez on base and nobody out, Roenicke pinch hit for Rickie Weeks. We can debate the reasons why this might not make sense (spoiler: it doesn’t), but Rickie has been bad for a while and they did just bring up a LHB who plays his position. Michael Stutes is on the mound, he hasn’t pitched much but RHB have an .612 OPS against him while LHB have a .727 OPS against him. Gennett IS a LHB who didn’t do a whole lot well in the minors, but was pretty good at getting singles. PERFECT! A guy who is good at getting singles with a platoon advantage, let’s do this.
He has him bunt.
He doesn’t come close to getting the bunt down but Gomez takes 2nd base! Awesome! Now we have that single hitter with the platoon advantage, and yes yes yes.
This is where it gets weird: he has him bunt again.
He really wanted him to bunt.
He substituted a starter out of the lineup because he wanted a guy who could bunt no matter the situation.
No really, the game is tied and looks to be headed for extras where the bench is going to be crucial and Roenicke substituted a starter out of the game because he wanted a guy who could bunt.
Was Gennett even the best bunter available? Looking at his minor league stats, he bunted about 6-7 times per year. Maybe they got glowing scouting reports on his bunting and lack of experience in this situation wouldn’t be an issue, but man, that is a lot of trust.
Well we know what happened, Gennett has another cringe worthy bunt attempt and the AB is over, and soon the scoring threat is over.
We hope that managers improve with experience and age, I’ve heard as much said about RRR. A better conclusion might be that people just aren’t paying close enough attention anymore.