The Chicago Cubs recently took on the Colorado Rockies for a one game wild card to see who would advance to the NLDS to face the Milwaukee Brewers. There was a fair share of decision making needed by each manager seeing as the game went into 13 innings. While the Rockies seemed to have no problems getting runners on base, they did have some difficulty pushing runs across. With a one run lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, Rockies manager, Bud Black, chose to remove one of the better hitters, Charlie Blackmon, from the lineup in order to put a better fielder into play. The idea was that the Rockies would have a greater chance of winning with this one run lead so late in the game rather than rely upon a chance for Blackmon to make a difference in the batters box seeing as his spot had just passed. However, the Cubs were able to score a run in the bottom of the eighth inning causing Blackmon’s spot to come up in the several more times in the game and his replacements were unsuccessful. This lack of depth in the Rockies batting order allowed cubs pitchers to deal with relatively less stress. But the Cubs were only able to push their sole run across from a similar effort. Baserunning specialist, Terrance Gore, was put in to run for an important hitter – Anthony Rizzo. This move by Cubs manager, Joe Maddon, was certainly the only reason the Cubs were able to score as Gore was able to steal a base and score on a single from Javier Baez. Past the eighth inning each team was batting with a key piece missing from their lineup. With a playoff elimination on the line, pitchers had to execute to their highest potential in order to stave off the other team. The point here is that each time was forced to sacrifice an important part of their lineup due to the nature of the circumstances. While the long term effect of the substitutions may have seemed questionable, they were very much appropriate at the point of institution.
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