Buying into the Hype

Saturday, October 9th, 2004 @ 8:02 pm | Sports

Now that I’ve proposed the theory of certain managers buying into the hype from the media and the fans, I’ve got to wonder if Ron Gardenhire just joined the club.

After getting blasted for leaving Joe Nathan in to pitch a third inning of relief in Game 2, Gardenhire elected to have Juan Rincon start the 8th inning of 5-1 game.

Bernie Willaims drove in the first run of the inning to make the score 5-2. Then, Ruben Sierra homered to tie the game.

Before the Sierra homer, the Fox broadcast cut to a shot of Nathan warming up in the pen. John Olerud, who followed Sierra to the plate, doubled, and Nathan was brought into the game.

The Twins’ season is on the line. The Yankees were getting to Rincon. Why wasn’t their best reliever in the game as soon as the tying run reached base? Was Gardenhire smarting from the criticism he received for leaving Nathan in for the third inning in Game 2?

For what it’s worth, I think Gardenhire made the proper decision in sending Nathan out for the third inning of relief on Wednesday. You have to go with your best. The mistake was not lifting Nathan as soon as it was clear that he was scuffling. Likewise, the mistake tonight was not lifting Rincon as soon as it was clear the he was scuffling.

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