AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHH! Macha has cost the A's two games in this series with stupid stupid stupid pitching decisions. (Well, the game isn't over yet as I write this, but I need to rant.)
Last night, he took Kirk Saarloos out too soon. Tonight, to make up for that bonehead mistake, he leaves Barry Zito in way too long.
What the **** is Macha watching? Zito had control over nothing--nothing--but his fastball. He seemed afraid to throw his changeup to the Indians power hitters. His curveball was hanging all night long.
He did well to get to the seventh with the game tied, given his lack of stuff tonight. Zito tiptoed through the heart of the Indians order all night long. He should have left after six, and let someone else face that part of the batting order. Or perhaps you let him face the first two batters, and take him out after facing the lefty Travis Hafner.
But Macha decided to keep playing with matches. He left Zito in to face switch-hitting Victor Martinez with two on and no outs. Zito got lucky: Martinez swung at ball four and struck out.
At this point there's one out, still two runners on. It could easily have been bases loaded, no outs. Zito had thrown over 120 pitches, there was a right-handed batter (Ronnie Belliard) coming up. Anyone with eyes can see that Zito is out of gas, but Macha goes out to the mound, and somehow leaves Zito in the game!
And so Zito, of course, hangs a curveball to Belliard, who parks it over the left-field wall for a home run. 6-3 Indians.
Gggggggggahhhhhhh! I need a Ken Macha voodoo doll, pronto. I need to throw it across the room. I need to smash it onto the wall. Otherwise, I'm certain to break my remote control.
Macha is choking. He's changing his managing style, just because it's September. Perhaps we should call him Maucha.
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If there's any consolation to these bonehead moves, it's that Mike Scioscia keeps matching Macha, dead brain cell for dead brain cell.
You keep on playing Steve Finley every day, Mike. You keep letting Erstad face those lefty pitchers. It's our only hope.