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Game #86: Diamondbacks @ Pirates

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Still smarting from watching the Diamondbacks blow last night's lead in the ninth inning? You're not alone...

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Justin K. Aller

ari_medium

Chase Anderson
RHP, 5-3, 3.63
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Charlie Morton
RHP, 4-9, 3.41

Diamondbacks Lineup

  1. Ender Inciarte - CF
  2. Gerardo Parra, RF
  3. Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
  4. Miguel Montero - C
  5. Aaron Hill - 2B
  6. David Peralta - :LF
  7. Martin Prado - 3B
  8. Didi Gregorius - SS
  9. Chase Anderson - P

There were two mistakes made by Kirk Gibson last night. The first was leaving Wade Miley in for the ninth. He was already at 106 pitches, and with a career high of 116, odds are he'd be going past that, even with a clean inning. On a hot and sticky night in Pittsburgh - you could see the sweat pouring off Miley from the middle innings on - that was asking a lot. Given any struggling pitcher, I would think you always want to have a quick hook and err on the side of taking them out quickly, rather than leaving them in there too long, especially with someone like Miley who has struggled with the long-ball, and when the Pirates were a bloop and a blast from tying it.

Some supported the decision to leave him in, pointing out that, "Gibson liked the matchups. Neil Walker, who was due up first, is a switch hitter who fares better against right-handers, plus the Pirates' top hitters on the bench were left-handed. "We thought he could get those guys," Gibson said." Because, of course, we didn't have any well-rested, effective left-handed options in the bullpen. Oh, my mistake: we had Oliver Perez, ERA 2.27, who hadn't pitched since Saturday; or even Joe Thatcher, ERA 2.74, last used on Sunday. Either would have been preferable to Miley approaching a career-high, I'd say.

Then, once the tying run was on - and certainly at least one batter too late - Gibson went to the pen. But rather than sending in the groundball machine which is Brad Ziegler, who would seem to have been the best pitcher for the spot, he went for Addison Reed. Because save situation, and for no other reason, it would appear. A man who, before last night, had come into two of his 36 games this year with anyone on base, and in neither of those games had he been asked to get three outs. The failure which resulted hardly came as a surprise to anyone watching - except, it would appear, Kirk Gibson.

Gibson was asked about Reed's status, and seemed to be annoyed, though it's certainly a legitimate question. As Nick Piecoro noted

We'll see what happens if we get a save situation tonight. But Reed's performances have not exactly inspired much confidence in anyone this season.