This is key. I wanted Carp yanked in the 2nd. It doesn't matter that he settled down after that; it was a case of too little too late. It doesn't matter who's on the mound, you can't fuck around and leave them in a pitch longer than you have to if they're falling apart. I'd think Matheny would get that.
I mean, we don't NEED
Carpenter. It should be obvious by now that he came back too soon from his injury and shouldn't have re-joined the rotation. At least it feels obvious to me.
If I could tell in the first inning that Carpenter was off, then I promise you Matheny/Lilliquist/people who know infinitely more than I do could tell that he was getting behind in every count and throwing meatballs. Once the Giants had the lead, I don't understand not pinch-hitting for Carpenter in the top of the 3rd. I don't understand not putting in Joe Kelly five batters earlier (he should've been warm at that point).
I was very upset about that - and I'm not sure that it's a mistake that can be chalked up to Matheny making "rookie mistakes." I think it's about faith in a pitcher that you CAN'T have in the playoffs, when you're already down and you have a deep bullpen and your starter isn't throwing strikes. Would LaRussa have pinch-hit for Carpenter? I don't know. But I feel like having Carp bat in that third inning induced groans across the nation from frustrated fans like us who knew that he should've been out of the game a long time ago.
I know I've said here that I'm not happy with Matheny's management, but we can't totally blame our shitshow the last two games on his mistakes. Why can Lance Lynn only go three innings, and doesn't know how to throw to first on a bunt? Why is Allen Craig choking? Why does Yadier Molina have no discipline?
I'm very frustrated.