Twitter fuels this era of blame and after San Francisco’s ninth-inning meltdown Tuesday in a 6-5 loss to the Cubs in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, the Giants provided a target-rich environment. The most common complaint is that manager Bruce Bochy didn’t send Matt Moore out for the ninth inning, after he had thrown 120 pitches in the first eight innings. Santiago Casilla, a reliever with 127 career saves, was upset that he wasn’t given a chance in that fateful ninth inning. Dave Cameron wonders why Bochy didn’t trust one reliever in particular.
But this context is extremely important: Everybody in the Giants organization, from the folks in the front office to Casilla, had tried to plug the ninth-inning hole in the team’s bullpen for weeks. Months, even. They all recognized the problem, they all did what they could to find a solution, and in the end, they could not, and it ended their season.
Before the trade deadline, general manager Bobby Evans dug deeply into the trade-market possibilities. They wanted Andrew Miller as much as the Cleveland Indians wanted him and called the Yankees about Miller, fully recognizing how perfectly he could have fit. Miller could’ve served as their closer in August, September and October this year, and then, with Sergio Romo and others headed into free agency this fall, Miller could've led the bullpen in the last two seasons of his deal, 2017 and 2018.