WASHINGTON — Watching the Washington Nationals’ Miami meltdown unfold Monday night reiterated a belief of mind that most managers are slaves to a well- practiced formula. They go with their closer in the ninth inning of every save situation, even if it’s his third appearance in four games. That was the scenario for Rafael Soriano.
Now, Soriano is having an outstanding season. He nailed down his 200th career save on Sunday, sixth-best among active pitchers. But, why not stick with Drew Storen? He struck out the only batter he faced — Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins best hitter — ending the eighth inning and stranding a runner on third.
Storen threw a total of four pitches. FOUR. He had just escaped a tight jam. Why not let him continue into the ninth with a three-run lead? He obviously had good stuff. If he got into trouble, you would always have Soriano. Storen’s ERA this season is 1.05. A former closer, he certainly can handle those situations. And he may very well reclaim that role next year should the Nationals let Soriano — a pending free agent — walk.
Allen says RG3 wasn’t ready
Redskins’ general manager Bruce Allen has confirmed what we all knew last year: Robert Griffin III was not healthy and ready for primetime. That was obvious from the season opener and he didn’t get better as the season progressed. So, coach Mike Shanahan finally benched him the last three games. The team brought along RG3 slowly in training camp due to major knee surgery. He was limited in practice and did not play a preseason game.
If he wasn’t ready, isn’t that management’s fault for throwing him out there anyway? Then, to make that move even worse, the Redskins stuck with a struggling quarterback. It doomed their season.
Was that Allen’s decision to start with Griffin? Dan Snyder’s? It didn’t seem to be Shanahan’s, which resulted in a strained relationship with RG3, who was determined to play, even on one leg. The Redskins may want to forget the Shanahan era, but if they overrode his objections to playing Griffin, they owe the former coach an apology.
They can just slip it into one of the paychecks they still owe him this year.