Last night's Twins game was the first I've attended this season, and aside from the 15 or so text messages I received at the end of the game containing some variation of "How about that Crede, eh??" after the Twins' third baseman delivered a walk-off RBI double in the eleventh, the memory that sticks with me the most is the horrible managerial decision that nearly cost the Twins a win.
There are plenty of occasions where I disagree with a coaching decision in a baseball game, but it's pretty rare that I am absolutely, unequivocally positive that the wrong move was made. That happened tonight, though. With Glen Perkins pitching in the eighth inning and working on a second straight gem, the Twins held a 2-1 lead with two outs and the tying run on second base. Vernon Wells, a righty and one of the Blue Jays' better hitters, was at the plate, and Perkins had fallen behind 2-0. Rick Anderson came out to talk to Perkins, and it seemed obvious how he would advise his pitcher. On deck was Adam Lind, a left-handed hitter with a .241/293/.374 career line against southpaws, so the clear strategy was to have Perkins stay away from the strike zone on his last two pitches and walk Wells, filling first base and taking on Lind in a much more favorable matchup. Instead, Perkins came right at Wells, surrending a game-tying RBI single on his very next pitch to tie the game. The Twins still won and Perkins still finished with another excellent outing, but that was a potentially disastrous managerial decision that really cannot be excused.
Someone sitting near us at the game last night called me a "Negative Nancy." I realize this post has done nothing to dispel that nickname. Oh well. Hopefully the Twins pull off a more convincing victory tonight and leave me with nothing to complain about.