You know, Dusty Baker is almost certainly a single of the most famed baseball individuals of the earlier 25 years. Soon after an excellent taking part in occupation, he first managed the San Francisco Giants in 1993 and has been a constant presence in our baseball lives ever since. He is managed four various clubs to the postseason and is 14th on the all-time earn list. He owns a larger profitable percentage than Bruce Bochy, Lou Piniella, Tommy Lasorda, Buck Showalter, Jim Leyland and Dick Williams.
Who has been far more famed? Feel of all that time we have used talking about, debating, critiquing, or digesting Dusty’s moves. This is the ninth time he is been on our Television screens in October, chewing on the ever-present toothpick or trudging out to the mound to make a pitching change that almost certainly is not going to operate — even if it truly is the right move.
Dusty has to be in the top ten, right? He is famed sufficient that we commonly just refer to him as “Dusty,” not by his previous title. At 68, he is even now a focal stage of the baseball scene, even now wearing all those wristbands with his caricature on them.
I was pondering of all this as Tuesday’s activity was rained out. It appeared like a privileged established of situation for the Washington Nationals. It would indicate Stephen Strasburg could then start off on Wednesday on normal relaxation and Gio Gonzalez could then start off Sport 5. They require to earn two games, so it meant substituting a Gonzalez start off for a Tanner Roark start off, a dude with a 2.ninety six Period versus a single with a 4.67 Period.
In its place, news broke that Strasburg could not pitch due to the fact he’d thrown a bullpen session before in the day in anticipation of a Thursday start off. That’s what Baker said at first. Then everybody backtracked and, no, Strasburg had thrown his session on Monday, but was not emotion perfectly. Baker said Strasburg was “below the climate,” adding that “It can be just that time of 12 months for mildew all-around Chicago. I assume it truly is mildew. I indicate, I have it, far too.”
Indeed, this is the dude who once infamously quipped that significant, slow sluggers who acquire walks just “clog up the bases.” That’s the point about Dusty: The gentleman has gained a ton of baseball games and nonetheless has frequently — and frequently unfairly — been a punching bag together the way. Of study course, some of that is due to the fact Baker has not gained the significant a single — which is why Chicago mildew seems like an additional case of that negative October karma that generally pops up all-around Baker’s groups. Witness:
1997: Baker’s Giants get swept in the Division Series by the Marlins. The first two games are each walk-off wins for the Marlins in the base of the ninth. Barry Bonds bats .250/.231/.417 in the collection.
2000: In the Division Series in opposition to the Mets, the Giants tie Sport 2 with a few runs in the base of the ninth, but the Mets earn it in the tenth. The Mets then earn Sport 3 on Benny Agbayani’s walk-off residence operate in the 13th (just after Robb Nen blows a save in the eighth). Bonds goes 3-for-seventeen with a single RBI.
2002: Bonds ultimately has a monster postseason and the Giants direct Sport six of the World Series 5- getting into the base of the seventh, 9 outs from clinching. Baker removes Russ Ortiz at the right time, but then sees his bullpen implode and the Angels arrive back again to earn six-5. The Angels acquire Sport seven.
2003: The Cubs are 5 outs from reaching their first World Series since 1945 and … perfectly, you know what happened, something about a fan interfering with a foul ball and an mistake and some other negative stuff. The Cubs also led 5-3 in Sport seven getting into the fifth inning, but Kerry Wood gets still left in to give up 7 runs. Who is still left in to give up 7 runs in a do-or-die activity?
2010: Baker’s Reds obtained no-strike by Roy Halladay. A few and out.
2012: Cincinnati ace Johnny Cueto gets hurt in the first inning of Sport 1 of the NLDS in opposition to the Giants. The Reds even now acquire the first two games on the highway. They then reduce a few straight at residence.
In Sport 5, it truly is – in the fifth. Normally guaranteed-handed Zack Cozart would make a important mistake and Dusty leaves in Mat Latos far too lengthy as Buster Posey hits a grand slam for a six- direct. It can be six-3 in the sixth when the Reds have two runners on with no outs, but a curious strike-and-operate enjoy turns into a double enjoy as Ryan Hanigan strikes out and Jay Bruce is out thieving at third.
2013: The Reds reduce the wild-card activity to the Pirates as Cueto offers up four runs in 3 &frac13 innings.
2016: The Nationals reduce in 5 games to the Dodgers, all their losses coming by a single operate. The top of the seventh of Sport 5 is most painful: Baker churns by means of 6 pitchers as the Dodgers rating four runs.
2017: Baker removes Max Scherzer in Sport 3 with a 1- direct, but the bullpen gets conquer on a comfortable line and a blooper.
Is there something likely on listed here? Baker’s groups are now 5-13 in a single-operate games in the postseason. Is he a purpose why? I tweeted out something on Tuesday that each manager so considerably is controlling the postseason with his trousers on fireplace even though Baker is controlling like it truly is a collection in opposition to the Padres in the middle of June.
His moves in Sport 3 weren’t essentially negative kinds — Sammy Solis and Oliver Perez have been excellent alternatives in all those predicaments and there was some negative luck on the two hits — but have been they the very best alternatives, with Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle, his two very best relievers, readily available?
That seems to be Baker’s October fate. Depart Latos in far too lengthy and he gets burned. Pull Scherzer far too early and he gets burned. Breathe in far too significantly mildew and your most popular pitcher gets sick.
I do not know what’s likely to transpire in Sport 4. But, gentleman, it truly is about time Dusty Baker has a minimal excellent luck.