Fire Jim Tracy

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Enemy of My Enemy Is...Not Jim Tracy

And then there are Tracy's curious decisions when facing the hated Giants. On June 21, coming off of a series win over the also hated New York Yankees, the Dodgers travelled to SBC Park for a four game series. Riding their emotional high, they found themselves down 2-1 in the ninth, when Jayson Werth (Juan Encarnacion having thankfully already batted, striking out to end the eighth) drove in Jason Grabowski with a game tying single. At this point, Tracy brings in Guillermo Mota. That was not a bad idea in itself. The bottom of the order was coming up, and in fact, the first two batters grounded out. Then...

Dustin Mohr singles. Well, that happens. But then Damon Minor, walks. Yikes. Walking the game-winning run into scoring position is bad news. Time to think about doing something new (Gagne! Gagne!) Then, incredibly, he walks Ray Durham. Bases Loaded. Cody Ransom, earlier pinch running for Deivi Cruz, now comes up to bat.

You're Jim Tracy. You know that Eric Gagne has pitched a lot in the last week. In fact, five times in six games. But, Guillermo Mota has pitched four of those six games, and more to the point, Guillermo Mota has just made his 22nd pitch of the inning tonight to walk Durham.

Now let's stop the story. One of my main problems with Tracy is that he treats similar situations arbitrarily. Everyone, including him, worries about Gagne's effectiveness after a lot of use. But no one, it seems, worried if Mota was similarly used. One could I suppose argue that Gagne was more important than Mota, and Mota's arm was expendible, but such an argument would be ironic coming from, say, Bill Plaschke.

Anyway, you know the rest of the story already. Cody Ransom singles on the first pitch. Giants win. They go on to sweep a four game series in SBC. We go on a six game losing streak. Gagne gets plenty of rest. He doesn't get another save (or save situation) for another eight days.


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