(CBS) The talk of the baseball world as the playoffs got underwayTuesday night with the Blue Jays’ extra-inning win against the Orioles in the AL wild-card game was Baltimore manager Buck Showalter’s decision not to use closer Zach Britton, who had registered one of the greatest seasons ever by a relief pitcher.
In the 11th inning, with the game on the line, Showalter rode Ubaldo Jimenez with two men on and one out. Jimenez left a fastball over the plate, and Edwin Encarnacion drilled it for a walk-off three-run homer in the 11th inning to send the Blue Jays into the ALDS against the Rangers. Showalter has taken intense criticism on all fronts.
As it pertains here more locally? Don’t expect the Cubs to make any such conservative blunder with closer Aroldis Chapman in the postseason.
“You never not want to use your big guns,” Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio said Wednesday on the Mully and Hanley Show. “I’d imagine if that lineup got flipped, Britton was going to be in there. That’s probably what Buck was hoping for. And a team that I believe led Major League Baseball in home runs, (the Orioles) were one swing away from getting (Britton) in there.
“You never want to get caught not using your big boy in a one-game spot, but easier said that done.”
Bosio is constantly communicating with Cubs manager Joe Maddon during the game, making his suggestions. Generally, they’re already on the same page after the pregame planning.
“You go to Joe and say, in our case if it’s Chapman, I side with using the player just because you get your best opportunity to get those outs,” Bosio said. “You want to use all your bullets up. You don’t want to leave him on the shelf when you go into a gun fight. I’d probably go, ‘I think this is a good spot for Chapman.’ We rehearse everything before the game. He’s got his matrix matchups. I’ve got my stuff.
“We all have input, but it does land solely on the manager.”
Listen to Bosio’s full interview below.