In today's obligatory installment of Second Guess the Losing Manager in the World Series, our guest is Whitey Herzog of the St. Louis Cardinals, the same man who did not bring in Bruce Sutter during Milwaukee's six-run seventh inning on Saturday.
Whitey, with two men on base and none out in the Cardinal seventh, Milwaukee leading, 3-1, why didn't you have David Green sacrifice bunt? After all, if you had, when George Hendrick singled later in the inning, that would probably have tied the game, 3-3, instead of merely cutting the Brewers' lead to 3-2.
Even Milwaukee starter Mike Caldwell said, "Sometimes you wondered what they were doing--like that inning with two on and none out. I think we kind of skated through that inning pretty good."
"I don't think it's smart in the seventh inning to play for a tie against Harvey's Wallbangers," said Herzog. In other words, you need three or more runs to win, so why not try for a big inning? After all, who says those Wallbangers aren't going to do some more scoring? No time to be giving away precious outs. Exactly the answer that, for instance, Earl Weaver would have given.
Well, Whitey, if not a bunt, then why not a hit-and-run?
"I've got a (fast) guy up who doesn't ground into many double plays," said Herzog, "so why not let him hit?" And why try a play, like a hit and run, that might lead to a double play on a line drive or popup?
All right, Whitey, you're excused. Off the hook again.
Herzog still hasn't persuaded those outside the baseball fraternity that he was right in not calling for Sutter on Saturday; many don't grasp the nuances of handling a bullpen, of how he didn't want to use Sutter for "more than four outs" on Saturday and how those had to be the last four outs.
This afternoon, Herzog was asked what he would say to the novices who simply can't grasp his reasoning.
"I don't give a frog what they think," said Herzog.
Hidden plays from Game 5:
Hard-luck Gorman Thomas (zero for four, again) had a home run blown back into the park by the inward killer wind that gusted up to 25 mph . . . The sight of Ben Oglivie and Gorman Thomas -- both injured -- being sent to second on the hit-and-run, prompted the thought that Brewer Manager Harvey Kuenn might need a sign-taster, somewhat akin to a food-taster, who double checks all Kuenn's strategic inspirations to make sure they aren't poisonous. Oglivie was thrown out when the hitter swung and missed . . . Thomas continues to risk life and limb -- infielders' lives and his limb -- with his take-out slides at second on double plays.
Charlie Moore: "We're finally putting the pressure on somebody else. We've finally put somebody else's backs against the wall."
Robin Yount on his Series MVP chances: "I have a couple of cars. I don't need another one."
Keith Hernandez on Milwaukee's bumpy infield: "This field is for the birds."
Herzog on what he'll do if Joaquin Andujar can't pitch in Game 7, if one is necessary Wednesday: "Joaquin's walkin'. He's gonna be all right . . . But, if he can't pitch, we'll forfeit."
Herzog: "It all boils down to Andujar getting hurt on Friday. We had 'em where we wanted 'em. If he hadn't gotten hit, he'd have gone nine innings, I wouldn't have had to use Sutter and we'd have had him fresh on Saturday (to save Game 4 for a 3-1 lead) . . . Now, we'll go out, give it our best shot and if we get our butts beat, we'll show up next April for opening day."
More Herzog, asked if his home St. Louis crowd would help his team's chances: "Our crowds are not too enthusiastic in St. Louis."
Mike Caldwell, on winning with a three-hitter on Tuesday and a 14-hitter on Sunday: "I guess I got to show that I could pitch and that I could battle 'em. I'm prouder of this one today . . . That's more a typical eight-nine-10-hit Mike Caldwell game . . . You just keep tryin' to get 'em to hit the ball on the ground and you ignore the seeing-eye dogs (cheap hits)."