Sawchik: The decision making of Game 4

From Travis Sawchik at FanGraphs on October 29, 2017:

The power of the role of the manager has diminished as more authority is concentrated in the front office. But the manager position is a significant one and never more important than on the World Series stage. Managers can win and lose games. And it was decision-making in Game 4 that was particularly fascinating in the Dodgers’ 6-2 win to even the series Saturday.

Game 4 was about a lot of things. Cody Bellinger ended his three-game slump. Joc Pederson warranted his placement on the postseason roster, and the evening was also a game about human and managerial decision-making.  

Following the game, and even during the game, A.J. Hinch was criticized for not sticking with Chris Devenski long enough, for remaining with starting pitcher Charlie Morton a little too long, and for ultimately turning the game over to Ken Giles. Giles’ struggles continued as he faced three batters, all reached, and all scored, including the decisive run. Giles has allowed a run in six of his last seven appearances and has allowed 10 runs in 7 2/3 postseason innings.

“He can get outs and he’ll continue to get outs,” Hinch said to reporters. “You have the ball in your hands at the most critical time because you have the best stuff. … I’ve always tried to give the reliever a little bit of a leash.”

Hinch also allowed Morton to face a portion of the Dodgers’ lineup for a third time — despite Morton’s well-documented issues when pitching deeper into a game — a decision that allowed the tying run to score.

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Originally published: October 30, 2017. Last Updated: October 30, 2017.