Rays morning after: Should Farquhar have replaced Colome?
Was Danny Farquhar the right guy to be on the mound for the Rays in the 11th inning Wednesday?
Rays manager Kevin Cash had already made one tough decision to have Alex Colome go out for a second inning, wanting to put the one run lead his team had just taken in the top of the 11th inning Wednesday in his All-Star closer's right hand.
"I've asked a lot of Alex, there is no doubt about that,'' Cash said. "He's thrown a lot for us. I knew I was stretching him, but you want your best guy out there when the game is on the line. so extremely happy with the way he performed.''
But as Colome started to falter, loading the bases on two singles and a walk and allowing the tying run on a sac fly, then a another walk to reload the bases on his 20th pitch of the inning and 32nd of the night, Cash made an even tougher decision and took out Colome - who had thrown 17 pitches Tuesday after 27 Sunday and 11 Saturday - and summoned Farquhar.
"I'd asked a lot of him going into that,'' Cash said. "His workload has been fairly heavy. ... We've asked a lot. Alex is going to take the ball anytime you ask him so it's kind of on me to manage that.''
Indeed Colome said he didn't expect to be taken out then. "I was surprised,'' he said. "I thought he can give me one more hitter because (Thursday) we are off.''
With no lefties in their pen - which is another issue - Cash has been using the right-handed Farquhar as his lefty specialist, and he summoned him to face Smith.
It would seem like a tough spot, with Orioles on every base and the game in the balance.
"I don't think it's that tough of a spot,'' Farquhar insisted. "As a bullpen guy, those are the spots you live for. You want to be in those big game moments. As a reliever you dream for those spots.''
But it didn't turn out too well, as Farquhar walked Smith - on four pitches nonetheless - to force in the winning run on a walkoff walk, perhaps the most painful of the final pitch endings.
"It sucks,'' Farquhar said. "It's the walk of shame into the clubhouse and it's a tough night's sleep, tough two night's this time because we have an off-day. So that'll be fiune. You've just got to learn from it. Don't forget about it because you've got to learn form your mistakes. But move on past it because it's a long season.''
Farquhar said his mindset was "obviously to get ahead, but I couldn't do that. And by the time I started throwing strikes it was too late, the zone was small.''
Farquhar started Smith with a curveball, then missed with three fastballs.
"I don't think he was nibbling,'' Cash said. "He was just erratic.''