Should Luke Gregerson be inviolable?
Teams don't bunt nearly as often as they used to, or steal nearly as often as they used to.
I suppose you could argue they should be doing more of those things, given the current run environment.
Generally speaking, though, one-run strategeries have fallen out of favor. As they probably should have.
But you know, evolution doesn't always equal improvement.
Tuesday afternoon, I was watching the Giants-Astros game closely, looking for things to talk about. In the bottom of the ninth inning, I thought maybe I saw something to talk about. But I didn't. So I'm doing it now.
Luke Gregerson is the Astros' closer and he's been pretty good this season. Wednesday, he started the ninth with a two-run lead. The first two Giants were both right-handed hitters, and Gregerson made both of them look pretty silly. Which wasn't surprising, since he throws right-handed and has always leaned heavily on his slider.
But the next two hitters due up were both left-handed Brandons with power: Belt and Crawford.
Belt put a pretty good swing on Gregerson's first pitch, lining out to center field to end the game. Obviously, if Belt's liner had fallen safely or cleared the fence, Gregerson would have stayed in the game to face Crawford. And then, who knows? Pennants are won and lost on such things.
Though usually not.
Still, I can't help wondering if Luke Gregerson is really so great that when he's on the mound, his manager shouldn't still be thinking about how to most effectively deploy his relief pitchers. Wednesday, A. J. Hinch could have used lefty Tony Sipp to face Belt and Crawford. But of course Sipp wasn't even getting loose in the bullpen. He might as well have been taking a shower already. And at the risk of repeating old arguments, I wonder if evolution has led managers down a path blindly. And I wonder who in this world of blind men will first rediscover vision.