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    CCS Top Donor Rory Sparrow's Avatar
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    Default Where does Maddon's Game 7 rank among the worst managed games in postseason history?

    Lots went wrong with Maddon in Game 7.

    To me, the most obvious screw up was pulling Kyle Hendricks. When the Cubs went up 5-1 and Hendricks was mowing down the Indian batters, I was extremely confident that the Cubs would win. The Indians were out of it. They had no momentum. But the moment Maddon took Hendricks out and brought in Lester (with baserunners!), it felt like the Indians woke back up. Lester looked immediately terrible, bouncing every other pitch in front of home plate.

    Lester settled down and pitched well. I thought Maddon could have left Lester in to face one more batter. Bringing in an overworked Chapman with runners on seemed like a recipe for disaster, which it became. I was stunned when Maddon sent Chapman out for the 9th, and continued to be stunned when Chapman escaped without giving up a run.

    The two-strike safety squeeze with Baez was incredible. Baez hit a HR earlier in the game, and with Heyward on 3rd and Yan Gomes catching, any shallow fly ball would score Heyward. Just let him swing the bat.

    In the end, everything worked out. With bases loaded, 1 out, and Montero at the plate, Francona inexplicably had his infield play in for a force at home instead of having his middle infield at double play depth, Montero grounds a ready-made double play ball to the SS area, but Lindor is too far in to make a play and another run scores...the run that proved to be the difference in the series.

    Here is where I rank Maddon's game amongst the worst managed postseason games I can recall...

    4) 1981 World Series, Game 6. Yankees need to win to stay alive. Tommy John had shutout the Dodgers for a 3-0 win in game 2. Bottom of the 4th in a 1-1 game, manager Bob Lemon elects to pinch hit for John. The batter flies out, inning over. The Yankees bullpen proceeds to give up 3 runs in the 5th, 4 runs in the 6th, eventually losing the game 9-2 and the series.

    3) 2016, World Series, Game 7. Joe Maddon pulls starter Kyle Hendricks in the bottom of the 5th with a 5-1 lead. Chaos ensues.

    2) 1986, World Series, Game 6. Red Sox can clinch series with a win. Manager John McNamara pulls Cy Young winner Roger Clemens after 7 innings with a 3-2 lead. Red Sox bullpen immediately gives up a run in the 8th. Red Sox score 2 runs in top of 9th to lead 5-3. McNamara leaves Bill Buckner at 1B for bottom of 9th, when during the season Dave Stapleton was the regular late-inning 1B. Mets score winning runs on Buckner error.

    1) 1977, ALCS, Game 5. Deciding game of Royals-Yankees series. Royals manager Whitey Herzog pulls starter Paul Splitorff after 7 innings with a 3-1 lead. Royals bullpen immediately gives up a run in the 8th to make it 3-2. Instead of bringing in his closer for the 9th inning, Herzog elects to bring in Game 3 starter Dennis Leonard on short rest. After giving up a single and a walk and getting no one out, Herzog pulls Leonard. Instead of bringing in his closer, Herzog then elects to bring in Game 4 starter Larry Gura on NO REST. Royals give up 3 runs to lose the game 5-3 and the series.

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    Doors that go like this. FatBabiesHaveNoPride's Avatar
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    I can't think back in history, but it's up there. The victory is perfume to the shit pile that was Maddon in both game 7 and 6.

    But hey, it will be lost in the narrative and that's ok.
    Something clever goes here.

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    CCS Top Donor Rory Sparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatBabiesHaveNoPride View Post
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    I can't think back in history, but it's up there. The victory is perfume to the shit pile that was Maddon in both game 7 and 6.

    But hey, it will be lost in the narrative and that's ok.
    I think Maddon explained his Game 7 bullpen use by saying "we had it scripted like that beforehand" or something along those lines...which I find to be an incredible statement.

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    Maddon fucked up. No doubt about it. Luckily, no one is going to remember this since the Cubs won.

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    Maddon is a Top 10, if not Top 5, manager in the game. He lead us to 103 regular season wins. Batting Babe Schwarber 2nd in the lineup for games 6 and 7 was brilliant. He will forever be a hero in Chicago for bringing us our first World Series championship in 108 years.

    Having said - he was nothing short of a disaster the past two games. First he unnecessarily blew out Chapman in Game 6 (even allowing him to pitch one batter in the 9th up 7 was INSANE), yanked Hendricks appallingly early in Game 7 and brought Lester in with a runner on, and then insanely put Chapman back in in the 9th (which thank heavens worked out). People thought Steve Bartman has taken a lot of grief? It would have paled in comparison to how Maddon would have been viewed if we lost.

    But he won. And he's a God here now and forever. He lead to a World Series title.
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    "What is Joe Maddon doing with his lineup card? Trying to order Chinese?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJMoore_is_fat View Post
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    Maddon is a Top 10, if not Top 5, manager in the game. He lead us to 103 regular season wins. Batting Babe Schwarber 2nd in the lineup for games 6 and 7 was brilliant. He will forever be a hero in Chicago for bringing us our first World Series championship in 108 years.

    Having said - he was nothing short of a disaster the past two games. First he unnecessarily blew out Chapman in Game 6 (even allowing him to pitch one batter in the 9th up 7 was INSANE), yanked Hendricks appallingly early in Game 7 and brought Lester in with a runner on, and then insanely put Chapman back in in the 9th (which thank heavens worked out). People thought Steve Bartman has taken a lot of grief? It would have paled in comparison to how Maddon would have been viewed if we lost.

    But he won. And he's a God here now and forever. He lead to a World Series title.
    Hollandsworth said to Kaplan - he's gonna be nitpicked left and right, but sometimes that best manager is the guy who can motivate his players. Maybe that means something.

    Goff and Spiegel are saying it right now. 'People are saying it's the worst high profile managerial job since Grady Little'. They wouldn't be wrong.
    Something clever goes here.

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    What I thought was more interesting about Hendricks last two starts is that despite pitching really well stat line wise when some adversity hit he seemed to shrink up a bit. Game 3 he didn't even look like he wanted to be on the mound anymore. He legit looked depressed. After the missed 3rd strike call went against him, you again kind of felt like he mentally shrunk up a bit. This was in stark contrast to his almost robotic demeanor the entire season and post-season to this point. I would have left Hendricks in absolutely and mentally I was just hoping to get to the 6th or 7th with him then you can use Lester, Montgomery, and Chapman.

    it all worked out and I don't want to spend too much time on it because I want to enjoy the win but just some thoughts I had during the game last night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatBabiesHaveNoPride View Post
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    Hollandsworth said to Kaplan - he's gonna be nitpicked left and right, but sometimes that best manager is the guy who can motivate his players. Maybe that means something.

    Goff and Spiegel are saying it right now. 'People are saying it's the worst high profile managerial job since Grady Little'. They wouldn't be wrong.
    Mulley and Hanley blasted him this morning too. He's the luckiest person on the face of the earth today. Had we lost, he would have been the single most reviled person in Chicago sports history for all of eternity. Well beyond Steve Bartman level.
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    Let's start the list:

    - Lester coming in with a man on base. He said he wouldn't do that. Didn't.
    - Lester brought in when Hendricks was dealing. The walk was not a 4 straight bad stuff walk. The walk was a result of a bad call by the ump.
    - The overuse of Chapman in Game 5, 6 and 7. Pitching Chapman with a 5 and then 7 run lead in Game 6.
    - Baez bunt with 2 strikes and a man on third/one out.
    - Not bunting Heyward

    Another one to consider - while not Maddon, the decision to send Schwarber on that base hit. Rather than letting Bryant hit with a man on base, he sent the slowest guy on the team coming back from a critical ACL. Not smart.

    Some VERY bad decisions were overcome by the players.

    The win was on the players making great plays - including Almora. If they lost, it would have been on Maddon.
    Something clever goes here.

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    CCS Top Donor Rory Sparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FirstTimer View Post
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    What I thought was more interesting about Hendricks last two starts is that despite pitching really well stat line wise when some adversity hit he seemed to shrink up a bit. Game 3 he didn't even look like he wanted to be on the mound anymore. He legit looked depressed. After the missed 3rd strike call went against him, you again kind of felt like he mentally shrunk up a bit. This was in stark contrast to his almost robotic demeanor the entire season and post-season to this point.
    Don't know about that. I thought Hendricks did a good job working out of jams caused by Javy Baez errors. He had really good stuff. After Holbrook completely blew a strike 3 call, and then squeezed Hendricks on the very next pitch to force the walk, I assumed Hendricks would just get the next batter out and the inning would be over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatBabiesHaveNoPride View Post
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    Another one to consider - while not Maddon, the decision to send Schwarber on that base hit. Rather than letting Bryant hit with a man on base, he sent the slowest guy on the team coming back from a critical ACL. Not smart.
    I could tell by how hard Schwarber hit the ball that he would be out if he tried for 2nd. When the RF came up throwing, I figured Schwarber would be out by a mile. I don't think he even reached 2nd base when he completed his slide. That said, the Cubs had done well running aggressively earlier in the game (albeit with faster runners). I think both of Bryant's runs were aggressive moves that worked out. Almora's tag of 2nd later in the game was another good/risky basepath decision.

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    Gotta find something negative to talk about, don't we?

    WE JUST WON THE FUCKING WORLD SERIES. Can we wait a day or two before discussing whether or not Maddon should be run out of town on a rail?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 85Bears View Post
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    Gotta find something negative to talk about, don't we?

    WE JUST WON THE FUCKING WORLD SERIES. Can we wait a day or two before discussing whether or not Maddon should be run out of town on a rail?
    I think it shows how strong of a team the Cubs really were...so many great players in the lineup and on the bench, they won despite Maddon's meddling.

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    This just emphasizes my point that a manager doesn't win games, but can lose them. The manager's job is to minimize mistakes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatBabiesHaveNoPride View Post
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    Let's start the list:

    - Lester coming in with a man on base. He said he wouldn't do that. Didn't.
    - Lester brought in when Hendricks was dealing. The walk was not a 4 straight bad stuff walk. The walk was a result of a bad call by the ump.
    - The overuse of Chapman in Game 5, 6 and 7. Pitching Chapman with a 5 and then 7 run lead in Game 6.
    - Baez bunt with 2 strikes and a man on third/one out.
    - Not bunting Heyward

    Another one to consider - while not Maddon, the decision to send Schwarber on that base hit. Rather than letting Bryant hit with a man on base, he sent the slowest guy on the team coming back from a critical ACL. Not smart.

    Some VERY bad decisions were overcome by the players.

    The win was on the players making great plays - including Almora. If they lost, it would have been on Maddon.
    Nobody sent Schwarber on the base hit. Schwarber sent Schwarber on the base hit.
    Quote from Omeletpants for WSG3 - "Neither Soler nor Heyward would get a hit so I would go for the defense in Heyward"
    Fact: Soler went 2-3 with a triple.


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    Quote Originally Posted by FatBabiesHaveNoPride View Post
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    Let's start the list:

    - Lester coming in with a man on base. He said he wouldn't do that. Didn't.
    - Lester brought in when Hendricks was dealing. The walk was not a 4 straight bad stuff walk. The walk was a result of a bad call by the ump.
    - The overuse of Chapman in Game 5, 6 and 7. Pitching Chapman with a 5 and then 7 run lead in Game 6.
    - Baez bunt with 2 strikes and a man on third/one out.
    - Not bunting Heyward

    Another one to consider - while not Maddon, the decision to send Schwarber on that base hit. Rather than letting Bryant hit with a man on base, he sent the slowest guy on the team coming back from a critical ACL. Not smart.

    Some VERY bad decisions were overcome by the players.

    The win was on the players making great plays - including Almora. If they lost, it would have been on Maddon.
    I completely understand bringing in Chapman during Game 5, but I have no idea what happened to Maddon's brain the past two games. I regard him as generally a good in-game tactician, certainly above average, but his decisionmaking and his explanations became increasingly incoherent as the series unfolded. It's like he lost his feel for the flow of the game and was misreading the leverage situations.

    My interpretation for the Hendricks to Lester decision is that Hendricks did give up a lot of hard contact the first time through the order, and so Maddon had Lester start throwing to warm up in anticipation of needing him earlier. But then Hendricks settled down and started getting efficient outs and weak contact, however with Lester still throwing the whole time Maddon had reached the point where he had to either bring him in or lose him for the whole night. So the move to pull Hendricks looked bizarre because it really had nothing to do with how Hendricks was pitching, and everything to do with Lester wasting finite pitches in the bullpen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbeard View Post
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    I completely understand bringing in Chapman during Game 5, but I have no idea what happened to Maddon's brain the past two games. I regard him as generally a good in-game tactician, certainly above average, but his decisionmaking and his explanations became increasingly incoherent as the series unfolded. It's like he lost his feel for the flow of the game and was misreading the leverage situations.

    My interpretation for the Hendricks to Lester decision is that Hendricks did give up a lot of hard contact the first time through the order, and so Maddon had Lester start throwing to warm up in anticipation of needing him earlier. But then Hendricks settled down and started getting efficient outs and weak contact, however with Lester still throwing the whole time Maddon had reached the point where he had to either bring him in or lose him for the whole night. So the move to pull Hendricks looked bizarre because it really had nothing to do with how Hendricks was pitching, and everything to do with Lester wasting finite pitches in the bullpen.
    Agree with the Lester reasoning 100%
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    Quote Originally Posted by brett05 View Post
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    This just emphasizes my point that a manager doesn't win games, but can lose them. The manager's job is to minimize mistakes.
    Hmmm. He subbed Almora as a pinch runner for Schwarber in the 10th. Almora made a very heads up play tagging and getting good to 2B. That opened up 1B for Cleveland to walk Rizzo and get to Zobrist, which resulted in the go ahead run. Of course the players have to execute, but Maddon made the switch from Schwarbs to Almora. That isn't minimizing mistakes.
    Quote from Omeletpants for WSG3 - "Neither Soler nor Heyward would get a hit so I would go for the defense in Heyward"
    Fact: Soler went 2-3 with a triple.


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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbeard View Post
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    My interpretation for the Hendricks to Lester decision is that Hendricks did give up a lot of hard contact the first time through the order, and so Maddon had Lester start throwing to warm up in anticipation of needing him earlier. But then Hendricks settled down and started getting efficient outs and weak contact, however with Lester still throwing the whole time Maddon had reached the point where he had to either bring him in or lose him for the whole night. So the move to pull Hendricks looked bizarre because it really had nothing to do with how Hendricks was pitching, and everything to do with Lester wasting finite pitches in the bullpen.
    Agree with this. It seemed like Maddon had Lester start warming up after the first inning. Every few pitches we'd get a bullpen camera view, and there would be Lester, warming up. Next inning, there is Lester, still warming up. Dugout shot of Ross putting on his equipment. A few pitches later, Ross doesn't have his equipment on. Then after the next batter, Ross is putting his equipment on again. Completely bizarre stuff. It was like Maddon put in Lester because he had warmed up and because Maddon didn't want to have to tell Ross to take off his equipment...again.

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