There are certain things in baseball that are difficult to understand. Why is the foul pole in fair territory? Why does Ozzie Guillen think that Nick Punto is a good hitter? Why would the Mets trade Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano? Some things are just confusing.
That brings me to Wednesday's Brewers/Cardinals game. When I logged onto the internet, I noticed that the Brewers were not starting Mat Gamel. The Brewers have zero chance of making the playoffs, so why would he not play? Isn't the point of September to get your prospects consistent at bats? Instead, Craig Counsell was given the nod over Gamel.
I have nothing against Counsell. He has had a great season, but the Brewers gain nothing by playing him over Gamel. Why would the Brewers even call up Gamel if he wasn't going to play. It is just a waste of his service time.
Anyway, this was not the most confusing thing that happened in Wednesday's game.
The Brewers were trailing the Cardinals 5-0 entering the bottom of the eight inning. Adam Wainwright was spinning an absolute gem for the Cardinals through seven. The Brewers had the pitchers spot leading off the eight inning. Promptly, Ken Macha went to his bench and called on Gamel to pinch hit. As soon as Gamel was announced, Tony LaRussa popped out of the dugout and pulled Wainwright in favor of Trever Miller.
The move that LaRussa made seemed to play right into the Brewers hands. As I mentioned in the post before this, Gamel absolutely kills left handed pitching.
Trever Miller is having an incredible season in St. Louis. He has dominated left handed hitters all season long. This, to me, seemed like a great opportunity for Gamel to face a tough lefty. So after listening to the radio commercial break, I was ready to see what Gamel could do.
When the game came back on the air, it was announced that Gamel had been pulled back. Instead of letting Gamel hit, Macha went to the bench and summoned Jason Bourgeois. This was a huge head scratcher for me. Why would Macha pull back one of our top prospects in favor of 27 year old journeyman outfielder? Without realizing that this game meant very little to the Brewers, lets look at some of the basic reasons you could think off.
Gamel-Miller would be a lefty-lefty matchup.
True, but as I have already mentioned, Gamel kills left handed pitching. Miller is tough on lefties, but I'll take my chances.
Bourgeois is a right handed batter and would fair better against Miller.
Bourgeois, actually is a better hitter against right handed pitchers. This season at AAA, he was hitting righties to a .325 clip, while batting .293 vs lefties.
If the Brewers seriously have thoughts about Jason Bourgeois next season, they are in trouble. Maybe my thoughts on Bourgeois are a bit harsh. I was at the game on Sunday when Bourgeois batted second and went 0-6.
The most confusing thing to me is what are the Brewers going to do next season. I think the perception of Gamel is that he is a platoon player in Macha's mind. This guy can flat out rake if he plays everyday. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if McGehee platooned everyday with Gamel next season. If this is the case, the Brewers would be wasting a great talent. Gamel should be starting everyday for the rest of this season, not being used as a bluff card.