I've been getting mad at MLB managers for some years now, usually because they are too dim-witted to follow MY strategies! Now I enjoy being a "Recliner Chair Manager" just as many fans do, but I do have a serious point to make about pitching.
Pitchers are HUMAN; they don't always perform at the same level. They all have some games when they "just don't have it". Being human also makes for times when they "have tremendous stuff" and seem to be unhittable. Many big-league managers seem to follow a fixed philosophy with their pitchers now-a-days: (a) If the starter gets near 100 pitches in a game, out he comes - no matter how he feels or how well he is performing. (b) They bring in the "Setup Man" to pitch the eighth inning and then - no matter how good the hurler did in the eighth - (c) They bring in "The Closer" to pitch the ninth.
Well, guess what? Blindly following this formula is causing some of these "push-button" managers to LOSE games that their team should have easily won. In the past 2 weeks I saw an American League manager turn a 7 - 0 win into a 9 - 7 loss because of ill-advised pitching moves. In the NL, my own favorite team's manager (Charley Manual) seems determined to follow the formula no matter how high Brad Lidge's ERA gets. We just saw Ryan Madson breeze through the eighth inning on 8 total pitches, only to be replaced by Lidge who didn't have command of his location. Madson surely was not too tired to start the ninth. When a guy has fantastic results, why not let him pitch a little longer? Especially when the next pitcher isn't going well and is coming off an injury! Can't these managers tell when the pitcher in the game is throwing great? I am not a former major league player, and most of the time I'm just watching the games on TV, and even a dummy like me can tell who has it and who doesn't! Why can't these managers open their eyes and let someone who is doing great and isn't tired or injured STAY ON THE MOUND? Hey, if he starts screwing up, then yank him. Many moons ago when I was a teen-age "would-be" pitcher, I would have been very upset if the Coach took me out of a game when I had a shutout going. (Not that I threw many shutouts, but you get the idea...). Modern managers act as if they expect every starting pitcher who lasts 100 pitches to have his arm fall off; as if the "Setup Man" can ONLY pitch the eighth inning, lest some dire catastrophe occur; and the ninth inning MUST be pitched by "The Closer" no matter how many games he's been in or how he feels right now. Horsefeathers! They are human beings, not robots. Start treating them as men, not machines.