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And no closer was ever used in a tie game on the road again

May 15, 2012, 4:30 PM EDT

Brad Mills AP

I, and many others, chided Charlie Manuel last week over his decision to not use Jonathan Papelbon in tie games on the road. And not just Manuel. Most managers refuse to do it, elevating the save statistic above smart personnel deployment and causing their teams to lose games they didn’t have to lose by putting in their inferior relievers when a game is on the line.

Well, the conventional wisdom brigade is laughing now, because Astros manager Brad Mills just put his closer, Brett Myers, into a 3-3 game in the 10th inning in Philadelphia. And he promptly gave up a walkoff home run to Hunter Pence. Phillies win, 4-3.

Here’s an exclusive look-in at the Astros’ clubhouse right now:


In Mills’ defense, can we observe that Brett Myers isn’t really a closer? No?  Drat.

  1. rollinghighwayblues - May 15, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    The true gem of this game was the Charlie Manuel-Bob Davidson feud.

    • drunkenhooliganism - May 15, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      That was ridiculous. Davidson should be suspended for….well forever, because he’s a shitty umpire AND antagonistic. He started yelling at Manuel before Castro was halfway down the baseline.

      • rollinghighwayblues - May 15, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        Seriously. I am beyond tired of Davidson’s antics. Yelling like a mad man right in front of the fans, truly showed his ass.

      • delawarephilliesfan - May 15, 2012 at 4:56 PM

        I am with you in spirit, though a permanent ban maybe a little harsh (pleasant though).

        I don’t understand why one of his peers can’t step up to him and say “That was over the line – and by the way, Charlie was right, it was a foul ball”. No commisioner, no suspension, just self policed by his peers. It makes sense in cases like this. But it will never happen.

      • rollinghighwayblues - May 15, 2012 at 5:00 PM

        Delaware- I believe Manuel was arguing that Davidson was in Schneider’s way when he went to go get the passed third strike.

      • delawarephilliesfan - May 15, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        @rolling, didn’t know that. I saw the video with no sound. Either way, and insanely fast hook for a guy sitting in the dugout

        to me, it DID look like it hit the ground before it hit the glove……

      • drunkenhooliganism - May 15, 2012 at 5:18 PM

        Delaware- Charlie yelled at him to get out of the way because Schneider couldn’t get to the passed ball/third strike and gave castro a free ride to first base.

        Yes, I know that there was no chance of him throwing Castro out.

  2. darthicarus - May 15, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Not to be outdone, the Cubs also learned to not do this today. Well done Dolis.

  3. schlom - May 15, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    What’s even stranger is that Manuel apparently has no problem putting in Papelbon in non-save situations when they are ahead. That led to today’s game where he was forced to bring in Chad Qualls to nail down the save as Papelbon was unavailable as he had pitched the last three days (with only one save opportunity).

    • delawarephilliesfan - May 15, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      True, but remember, last night Pabalbon was all warmed up and ready to in a save situation, 2 outs, no one on base, 2 run lead. Then a single and home run made it a 4 run lead. I think that would have effectively made him unavaliable anyway for today.

      • Utley's Hair - May 15, 2012 at 7:12 PM

        Damn that Polanco and his 2000th hit!!!!

    • ame123 - May 15, 2012 at 5:05 PM

      Papelbon would be unavailable regardless, he was fully warmed up yesterday before the game became a non-save situation.

  4. natstowngreg - May 15, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    No, Brett Myers isn’t really a closer.

    • Utley's Hair - May 15, 2012 at 7:11 PM

      Neither is Qualls. The jury’s still out on whether he’s a reliever, also.

  5. duanemccoy - May 15, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Matt Capps blew a tie game for the Twins too last night

    • kopy - May 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM

      This was my first thought, but it was the top of the 9th in a home game. Managers are more likely to do this since there would never be a save situation to retain the closer for. Any lead-taking would end the game.

  6. thekingdave - May 15, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Damn, trade value slightly diminished.

  7. redguy12588 - May 15, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    The Pirates are going to get sooooooooooooooo much value when they trade Hanrahan this year. Holy crap.

  8. WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 15, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    I suppose I’ll repeat once again my severe disdain for the “closer” role. I’m all about good relievers getting paid, but I have always thought the save stat is ludicrous. I’m not saying I’m right, either – just how I feel.

  9. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 15, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    For those who haven’t seen the vid:

    get it before MLB forces deadspin to take it down =\

  10. Utley's Hair - May 15, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Papelbon blew a tie game last week in spectacular fashion, by giving up a 3-run homer.

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