Trembley's 8th inning decisions
When a team is going terribly, everything gets second-guessed.
Especially when a late move backfires.
That happened Thursday night, when Dave Trembley made two tough decisions in the eighth that arguably cost the Orioles in their 7-5 loss to the Oakland A’s.
The first I have little problem with; the second I disagreed with at the time, and still do.
Brad Bergesen had thrown 93 pitches when Trembley removed him with two runners on and no outs in the eighth. He had just given up two singles, and had a three-run lead with the top of the order coming up.
Trembley didn’t want Bergesen to get a loss after pitching so well. I get that. I also see how you can criticize it, because it didn’t work and Bergesen had retired 14 in a row before the eighth. Pure judgment call in my opinion.
I am OK with it because Jason Berken has pitched well and that’s who was summoned. And Berken got the first out no problem.
But with two left-handers coming up, Trembley went with left-hander Mark Hendrickson over Berken to get the conventional lefty-lefty matchup.
The twist is that Berken had been better than Hendrickson against lefties in the same number of at-bats in 2010. Lefties were 7-for-36 (.194 average) with one walk and five strikeouts against Berken. They were 12-for-36 (.333 average) with four walks and eight strikeouts against Hendrickson.
Trembley said he made the call because Berken hasn’t been in those situations often and Hendrickson had. And there’s the lefty-versus-lefty thing, of course.
But I’d go with the guy I think has the best chance of getting me outs. And, right now, Berken (and Will Ohman, who is basically the interim closer) is that guy.
Hendrickson got one out, and then a couple singles – including a terrible hop to Cesar Izturis – helped to unravel the Orioles. This wasn’t Hendrickson’s fault. He didn’t pitch poorly, but it didn’t work out.
So Trembley, already embattled, is certainly going to hear it on this one. As the manager says, that’s baseball.
It’s a game where moves are constantly criticized. Especially when things are going poorly. And I think Trembley went 1-for-2 on this one – that doesn’t count bringing in Cla Meredith, who gave up the game-clinching, bases-loaded double. You can hammer that one, too, but the choices were limited then.
That’s my take. Now let’s hear your thoughts.