The bases are loaded. The Royals trail the Red Sox, 7-3, because Jimmy Gobble had just walked a batter, and then allowed Dustin Pedroia to crush a double off the Green Monster. Gobble then intentionally walked Manny Ramirez to load the bases with two outs. Time for a right-hander -- like Ramon Ramirez, maybe -- to come in and face right-handed batter Mike Lowell, wouldn't you think?
I'm standing in my living room, in front of the TV, pacing back and forth and saying to myself, "Don't let Gobble face another right-handed batter...don't let Gobble face another right-handed batter..."
So, what does Royals manager Trey Hillman decide to do? You got it -- he leaves Jimmy Freakin' Gobble in there to face Lowell with the bases packed.
To better understand my frustration with this decision, here are some facts about Jimmy Gobble. Entering today's game, left-handers were just 2-for-22 (.091) against him this year, with eight strikeouts and a .312 OPS. But right-handed batters?, they were batting .389/.455/.556 with three doubles and a .500 BAbip. For his career, batters have a .343 average against Gobble with the bases loaded.
I swear on my life, I mumbled to myself, "The score will be at least 9-3 after this at bat." Then I corrected my thought by thinking that it might just be 8-3, because the chances of Gobble walking Lowell were just as bad.
The result? Lowell blasts one over the Green Monster for the second grand slam the Royals allowed in the game, and all of a sudden it was 11-3.
And the moral of this story...er, I mean, rant? Never, EVER, EVERRRRRR allow Jimmy Gobble to face right-handed batters again! Ever!! He should be a lefty-lefty specialist, and that's it.
I don't like Jimmy Gobble! I'm not commenting on Jimmy Gobble the human being, because I would bet that he's one of the nicest guys on the team. He just seems like he'd be a good friend, and a great person. But Jimmy Gobble the baseball player? I'd pick countless other relievers to use -- against a right-handed batter -- before I'd choose to go with the "Gobbstopper" in that situation.
I hope Trey Hillman learned a lesson from this, and uses Gobble ONLY as a lefty specialist.