Brian Bruney on his outing tonight:
“That’s my bad, obviously. I thought I threw the ball pretty well tonight. I can go home on sleep on that. I’m fine with it. It’s not like I’m out there walking guys to their bases every time. I feel good. That’s baseball, man. The ball bounces six inches to the right and we got a double play and I’m out of the winning. I was OK with the way I threw the ball tonight. Obviously the results weren’t there. As long as we get a W, I honestly don’t care.”
Don’t blame Joe Girardi for using Bruney in the eighth inning. He, like every other manager, paints by numbers and Bruney is the Eighth Inning Guy. So if there is a lead, he pitches in the eighth inning.
You’d like to think common sense would come into play. Phil Hughes had just retired the side on nine pitches and was throwing 96. Just leave well enough alone. If you’re going to use him in the bullpen, then use him.
But the good of staying with Hughes was outweighed by the risk of somebody asking why Bruney didn’t pitch. Or somebody asking whether Hughes was now the Eighth Inning Guy.
Someday a manager will come along, throw the book away and just manage the game by what he sees with his eyes, not what he fears. But until then, don’t blame Girardi. He’s just doing what he’s trained to do.