Here I am defending Alan Trammell and he goes out makes me look bad. In case you missed it, the Tigers were up 3-2 heading into the ninth. Nate Robertson had held the Red Sox to two runs on two hits, and he did it all by just throwing 90 pitches.
Instead of letting Robertson throw in the ninth, in comes the so called closer, Fernando Rodney. He gets Edgar Rentaria for the first out, but gives up a solo shot to David Ortiz to send the game into extra frames. The rest is history as the Red Sox went on to win the game (by scoring seven runs in the 10th no less).
And there’s really no excuse. Yes, he went righty/righty for the first batter, but why not put in Jamie Walker to face Ortiz. Tram showed he once again was working from some kind of flawed cook book when he does this stuff. He put his “closer” in to “close” the game. Only thing is, Fernando Rodney, while he’s a quality arm, isn’t nearly as good yet as the guys we got rid of (Ugueth Urbina and Kyle Farnsworth) or the guy we have on the shelf (Troy Percival).
Which makes this loss even less excusable. He knows his pen is depleted and rather mediocre, so why not let Robertson throw the ninth. Let him win the game.
In a lot of ways, Trammell is a lot like Sparky Anderson. Very text book. This time it got him into trouble.
And for those of you who haven’t checked, when Robertson throws 91-105 pitches, he has a .225 batting average against and a 1.27 WHIP. Not too shabby.