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#pounditMonday, May 27, 2024

Bud Black fails to live up to own words in mishandling of Jon Gray

Bud Black

Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black failed to live up to his own words in his mishandling of starting pitcher Jon Gray during Wednesday’s NL wild-card game.

Prior to the game, Black talked about when to pull a struggling starting pitcher and said you can’t let them keep going if they’re not doing well.

Despite recognizing that before the game, Black was unable to diagnose that exact situation as it unfolded in real time.

Gray gave up two singles and a 3-run homer against the first three Arizona Diamondbacks batters he faced. It was clear after the homer by Paul Goldschmidt that Gray didn’t have it. What more did Black need to see? Yet Black allowed Gray to continue pitching.

Gray allowed two more hits that inning, including a double, but he struck out two batters with runners on second and third to limit the damage and escape down 3-0. In the second, Gray got out Zack Greinke, but then the top of the lineup did damage with a single and triple to make it 4-0. At that point Black finally removed Gray, who had yielded four runs on seven hits.

It was clear after three batters that Gray didn’t have his stuff. When you’re in a win-or-go-home playoff game, you can’t afford to stick with a struggling starter.

Colorado still gave up 11 runs in the game and lost 11-8, so you can’t pin everything on Gray nor Black’s decision to let him pitch the second, but that sure didn’t help. Joe Girardi pulled his starter in the first inning and limited the damage and the Yankees came back to win their wild-card game. You never know how things would have went if Black had acted sooner.

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