The Milwaukee Brewers blinked first in thier 2011 NLDS series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Manager Ron Roenicke announced Friday that pitcher Zack Greinke will start Game 2 of the series on three-days rest. Greinke also pitched on short rest on Wednesday to help the Brewers win home field advantage.
Roenicke asking his pitcher to throw on short rest for two consecutive games for the first time in his career shows how little confidence he has in Greinke's ability to win on the road.
It's a decision we have a hard time seeing Kirk Gibson ever making. Not to put words in his mouth, but it's likely he would see it as "giving in" to the situation. Even if he doesn't see it that way, I do.
Greinke is 11-0 at home with a 3.13 ERA and 5-6 on the road with a 4.70 ERA which is likely why the move was made. He lost at Chase field in July in a 4-0 game but went seven innings and only gave up two of those runs.
Greinke threw 108 pitches on Saturday, 74 on Wednesday and will go again on Sunday for his third start in eight days.
Even the decision to rush Greinke to the mound on Wednesday showed a lack of faith in the rest of his rotation.
It's the kind of high-risk moves managers make that can easily backfire and certainly is a sign that Roenicke doesn't have full confidence in his team to deliver in any situation. Maybe it will work, but it sure does smell like over-managing.
[Update, 09/30/11 5:49 PM MST ]
Brewers blog Brew Crew Ball responded to this view of things. They don't see things the same way:
No, Starting Zack Greinke Sunday Is Not A "Panic Move."
Simply put, there's no reason to believe that Ron Roenicke or anyone else in the organization is forcing Greinke onto the mound to avoid the alternatives. They're doing everything they can to put their best possible team on the field at home this weekend, and I think that's commendable.
Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke (10) takes the ball from starter Zack Greinke as catcher Wil Nieves, left, walks to the mound during the second inning of spring training baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Tuesday, Mar. 1, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)