I'm all for thinking outside the box in the postseason, especially in a one-game situation like a wild-card game. But it's another thing to think so far outside the box and pull off one of the worst managerial decisions in recent history.
The Kansas City Royals led the Oakland Athletics 3-2 in the top of the sixth inning when James Shields, who had cruised through the previous two innings, gave up a broken-bat bloop single to Sam Fuld and then walked Josh Donaldson on a borderline 3-2 fastball. Up stepped Brandon Moss, who had homered in the first inning.
Yost has three of the best relievers in baseball in Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland, who usually pitch the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. He pulled Shields and could have stretched those guys out for 12 instead of nine, or even used lefty reliever Brandon Finnegan to pitch to the lefty-swinging Moss (who was unlikely to be pinch-hit for after his earlier home runs)..
Always disliked bringing starters who have rarely relieved into a playoff game in the middle of inning with runners on base.
— CJ Nitkowski (@CJNitkowski) October 1, 2014
Ventura threw 73 pitches on Sunday. Despite his great ERA down the stretch, was still walking a lot of guys. Tough situation here.
— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) October 1, 2014
Brandon Moss had two home runs over his final 52 games during the regular season, so of course he has hit two of them tonight.
— D.J. Short (@djshort) October 1, 2014
Factions of fans booing Ned Yost as he comes with the hook for Yordano Ventura.
— Dave Brown (@AnswerDave) October 1, 2014
Ventura threw a 99-mph fastball up high for ball one. A 98-mph fastball was up and out of the zone. Moss hit the next pitch up and out over the center-field fence for a game-turning three-run home run. The A's went on to score two more runs in the inning -- one run charged to Ventura, the second to Herrera, who finally entered with one out.
The Royals got a prime position, leading in the sixth inning with the game's most dominant bullpen trio available. Instead, they used a pitcher who had thrown 70-something pitches two days prior. They got #Yosted.