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Fredi Gonzalez has no regrets about not using Craig Kimbrel in Game 4

Oct 9, 2013, 1:35 PM EDT

Of course he doesn’t:


I dunno. I’ve watched Craig Kimbrel pitch for a few years now and there are scant few situations in which he isn’t impressively, even terrifyingly successful compared to other relief pitchers. And Kimbrel himself seemed to think he’d be just fine in that situation.

But Fredi’s no dummy. If he says today, two days after messing up, that he messed up it would alert his corporate overlords to some sort of malfunction with their managerial unit and could cause them to put in a requisition for a replacement part. That would be sub-optimal!

Nope, as long as everyone with the Braves acts as if things are going just fine then they’re going just fine.

  1. philsphilsphils - Oct 9, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Stop making a big deal about this. Everything is fine. With so much uncertainty in the world it’s nice to have predicatable endings once in a while.

    • moseskkim - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      i never understood the difference between 3-6 out saves. obviously it would be nice if the closer pitched 3 innings but shouldnt it be all about pitches thrown? what if the pitcher gets a 10 and 15 pitch 8th and 9th inning =25 pitches thrown v. a tough 1 inning of 25 pitches. should be pretty much the same thing no? i know u gotta wait through the other half of the inning but that being said kimbrel shouldve came in after the puig double. hes the “best” reliever in the mlb so get him out there in an elimination game up just 1 run.

      • Marty McKee - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        Exactly. I don’t know why nobody gets this. For starters, managers get all jittery about pitch counts. But for relievers, they don’t care about pitch counts, it’s all about innings.

      • emdash01 - Oct 9, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        From what some pitchers on Twitter have said about this, when discussing the move – Brandon McCarthy and Glen Perkins, specifically – there is a difference in innings pitched in terms of the strain if they’re interrupted. Sitting down and getting warmed back up can be difficult.

        But, of course, this points out the absurdity in the 4-out vs. 6-out save question. If innings are the problem, letting him get 6 over two innings wouldn’t be any different than 4 because either way he’d only have to sit down and get back up once.

      • paperlions - Oct 9, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        Right (emdash), which makes the difference between a “4-out save” and a “6-out save” close to nothing.

  2. atlsportingreports - Oct 9, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Reblogged this on atlsportingreports.

  3. stoutfiles - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    In an alternate universe…

    “Fredi Gonzalez has no regrets about using Craig Kimbrel in Game 4”

    I dunno. I’ve watched Craig Kimbrel pitch for a few years now and there are scant few situations in which he pitched more than 1 inning. And Kimbrel himself seemed to think he’d be just fine pitching 2 innings, but he let up that home run in the 9th.

    But Fredi’s no dummy. If he says today, two days after messing up, that he messed up it would alert his corporate overlords to some sort of malfunction with their managerial unit and could cause them to put in a requisition for a replacement part. That would be sub-optimal!

    • MLBlogsbig3bosox - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      Nuff said.

  4. Ben - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Dave Cameron got it right on Twitter:

    “Piling on Fredi Gonzalez because he doesn’t “regret” his decisions is silly. Would be epitome of results based thinking if he did.”

    • paperlions - Oct 9, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      While true, results are what changes everyone’s thinking….just not individual results, the likelihood of outcomes (results) are the basis on which to change opinion….so, no, Fredi shouldn’t change his opinion base on this one result….but a smart manager would use this opportunity to re-evaluate his bull pen usage and seek the necessary information to determine if he could do it better than he currently does.

  5. edelmanfanclub - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Hindsight is 20/20. He put in a guy who had a great regular season, to do his job and he didn’t. If he knew Uribe would crack one off of Carpenter, I’m sure he would have used Kimbrel.

    • moogro - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      It’s not hindsight if you see it at the time. Which we all did. This contrasts sharply with yesterday’s game when Madden and Farrell were doing everything they could to better their teams’ chances to win.

    • emdash01 - Oct 9, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      While that’s true, Puig and Uribe are the two best hitters the Braves bullpen would face if they could get everyone in order – doesn’t having your best pitcher face them and, if he couldn’t go six, having someone else face the bottom of the order make the most sense if you absolutely need that game to survive? That’s not a Fredi Gonzalez issue so much as a most managers strategy with closers issue, though…

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 9, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      He put in a guy who had a great regular season, to do his job and he didn’t.

      Carpenter had 65.2 great innings this year. Last year’s 32.1 IP of 8.07 ERA was awful (51 ERA+). Overall he’s thrown 125.2 IP of 108 ERA+ ball. Small sample sizes abound, but Kimbrel has thrown 227.1 IP of 282 ERA+ ball.

      Also as others have mentioned, the lineup in the 8th was far better than the lineup in the 9th. Fredy could have had Kimbrel pitch the 8th and Carpenter the easier 9th, but that would almost never happen.

      • Arods Other Doctor - Oct 9, 2013 at 7:22 PM

        So say Kimbrel pitches the 8th and lets one guy reach. Statistically that’s the most likely. Now the 9th inning is a pinch hitter, Crawford and Ellis with Ramirez on deck. I think the pinch hitter would be Ethier, especially since he ended up hitting in that spot. So, with an avg whip closer to 1 than 0 or 2, let’s say 4 hitters per inning.

        Inning 8
        Ellis, A

        Inning 9
        Ellis, M

        I do not agree that the 8th inning was harder than the 9th. Arguable at best.

  6. misterj167 - Oct 9, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Once again I feel the need to point out that if Carpenter gets the Dodgers out and the Braves go on to win the game, and maybe the series, then the question everyone would be asking would be why Mattingly used Kershaw in game four.

    Being a Braves fan, I’m with Craig in our mutual frustration of losing in the playoffs, but I don’t see how this discussion is productive.

    • emdash01 - Oct 9, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      Certainly true, but as we all know, if your managerial move worked out – no matter how poorly reasoned it was – you’re a genius, and if it didn’t you’re an idiot. Humans are pretty bad at results vs. process.

    • skids003 - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      This is nothing but shit stirring by people who probably never even played baseball.

  7. chiadam - Oct 9, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    But does he regret managing a team of crybaby assholes?

  8. km9000 - Oct 9, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Is Fredi gonna start singing about his little red Corvette?

  9. dwdive - Oct 9, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Who cares, the Braves were never a real contender anyways… That line-up is disgustingly flawed. They are just not good enough to make a serious WS run. The bullpen is lights out. Other then that, they don’t have a good enough rotation or line-up to serious contend. They were the tallest midgets in the circus (NL East)… That is all.

    • Arods Other Doctor - Oct 9, 2013 at 7:14 PM

      They are flawed but they also had a .500 record or better against all other playoff teams. Why do you think that would happen?

      • dwdive - Oct 9, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        who knows who cares… Braves are the biggest joke of a Div winner this yr. 1 and done, so predictable…

  10. Arods Other Doctor - Oct 9, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Craig, had you said that Minor or Medlen would have been a better bet in the circumstance I would say you’re probably right even though hindsight is 20/20, but pulling the Kimbrel card is a bit silly. The guy isn’t Superman, he specializes in getting three outs. If you don’t know the difference between the mentality and especially the pacing of being a one inning guy and that of being a longer reliever, then I don’t think you’ve been around the game at the ground floor very much. I mean sure, you can watch tv in your mom’s basement, but that isn’t akin to understanding the dynamics that cause the likelihood of success or failure.

    Kimbrel throwing twice as many pitches as he normally does and facing one of the Dodgers’ hitters in Crawford when he’s beyond the point of fatigue he’s acclimated to doesn’t make sense to me. And that would be the best case scenario if he retired all five of the first five hitters he faced. One runner reaches and he faces Ellis (now way past his usual routine in terms of pitches thrown) and then Ramirez and Gonzalez if things get any worse than that. I don’t like the odds of him not giving up a run in those circumstances. I love Kimbrel, but it’s not realistic to pitch great against good hitters with twice as many pitches thrown as you’re accustomed to. Had he worked on extending in the regular season I’m sure he could do it, but he never has.

    What would be great is if you could blow the game by overextending Kimbrel by asking him to do something he’s never prepared for and then having Freddy write a blog about how you screwed up from his mom’s basement. Of course, you probably wouldn’t have gotten to that point because you wouldn’t have had the balls to match up Garcia against Kershaw. I thought that was a gutsy move and the right call to make in hindsight so I can’t fault the guy for sticking with someone who’s services would be required for the Braves to get deeper in the playoffs.

    p.s. I know you don’t really live in your mom’s basement but by pretending that you do I automatically win. Thanks for understanding!

    • skids003 - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Why not just start Kimbrel?

  11. gobraves1 - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    Fredi should be drug tested or be given Ritalin. Any coach from Little League on up would have brought in his ace closer. 4 or 6 fn’ng outs ? You have to be shitN me. What fn’ng planet does Fredi live on ? Oh yeah
    H the Planet started by by Bobby Cox aka One and Done. What a douche bag.

  12. gobraves1 - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Fredi let me coach the Braves in the post season. I sure as hell won’t be worried about hurting some guys feelings. I’ll play the best guys I have and play to win instead of going around with my head up my ass

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