In what seems to be a continuing theme in the 2010 MLB playoffs, Giants manager Bruce Bochy pulled starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez early in Game 2 of the NLCS and saw his bullpen blow a 2-1 game. Sanchez was pitching well, allowing just two runs through six innings. He had walked in a run in the first and gave up an RBI sac fly in the 5th. Yet after having the lefty start the 7th, Bochy brought out the quick hook after Sanchez gave up a single to fellow pitcher Roy Oswalt to lead off the inning.
Sanchez had already thrown 100 pitches at that point, but there was no reason to not let him go through the lineup again. Instead, Bochy pulled Sanchez and brought in reliever Ramon Ramirez who gave up a sac bunt, intentional walk, and run-scoring single by Placido Polanco. Next, Jeremy Affeldt entered the game and he struck out Ryan Howard before intentionally walking Jayson Werth. Of course Boch wasn’t done there, and he brought in Santiago Casilla who gave up the big blow — a bases-clearing double by Jimmy Rollins to make it 6-1.
We saw Rangers manager Ron Washington make the same mistake of pulling his starter early on Friday night. I know you’re probably saying that there’s a difference between the two — the Giants were already down 2-1 so it’s not like they blew a win, while the Rangers were up and blew a lead. True, but that’s not the point.