I have questions about last night’s loss to the Rangers. It seems that Sandberg went light on Cody Ashe but heavy on Mario Hollands.
I wonder about the strategy.
Young third baseman Ashe, 23, after a three hit afternoon on opening day, got to sit for game two. The reasoning was that Ashe, according to Sandberg, “is working on his game.”
Meaning that Ashe sat because of the Texas left-hander on the mound, and Jayson Nix, a right handed hitting utility player, got third.
It seems to me that a guy who got three hits — Ashe — deserved to play the next game. Furthermore, Nix, a .218 career hitter, might be cut when Freddy Galvis comes off the DL.
If you are “working on your game” — as Sandberg says about Ashe — you play, not sit.
Sandberg’s strategy of being easy with Ashe flipped when it came to using a rookie, Mario Hollands, with zero major league experience, in a tight situation in the ninth.
Until last night, with the roaring crowd on its feet, Hollands had never faced a major league batter. Coming in with the game on the line, Hollands walked Shin-Soo Choo on four pitches. Gave up a sacrifice bunt, then walked Prince Fielder.
To me, walking a hitter on four pitches in bottom of the ninth means jitters. Choo had the second highest on base percentage in baseball last season and the manager brought in a rook to get him out? Then Sandberg went and got Hollands and brought in B.J. Rosenberg, who gave up the winning hit.
When asked why he didn’t save Bastardo, who faced the bottom of the order in the eighth, Sandberg said “Bastardo is our eighth inning guy.”
The cliche is that players win and lose games, not managers.
I don’t know about this one.