“If I Were the Manager…” On the Roll of the Closer

If this World Series has taught us anything through five games, it is that everything we know about how to run a bullpen is wrong. One relief pitcher can and will win or lose a seven-game series. A full bullpen is better than a full starting pitching staff. Closers can pitch one third of the game.

Elaborating on that last point, in Game 5 of this series, both Aroldis Chapman and Cody Allen entered the contest in the seventh inning. Allen recorded five outs in the seventh and eighth innings, while Chapman replaced Carl Edwards Jr. with one out in the seventh and shut down Cleveland in the last inning and two-thirds.

They threw 36 and 42 pitches, respectively.

Aroldis Chapman took an at-bat.

These are things that shouldn’t happen for a pitcher designated as a “closer.”

Granted, they did get results, but the proposition was far too risky to repeat, and it is possible that neither pitcher will be available for Tuesday’s Game 6 because of their workloads on Sunday. Therefore,

If I were the manager, I would NOT let Chapman or Allen attempt to throw more than 20 pitches in Game 6, if any, and I would be upset with myself for letting Cody Allen throw 32 pitches in a loss.


Think you know more than Joe Maddon and Terry Francona? Keep up with our “If I Were the Manager” series, in which writer Jacob Lintner provides his view on a key point in each game of the 2016 World Series, and let Jacob know how you feel about his suggestions on Twitter @FHNtoday or @TheJacobLintner.

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