Obviously we're not going to over-use him. And we've talked about managing him better. But for me, still, that last out in the eighth is maybe the most important out of the game. We don't want to sit around until the ninth and have a tie game.Browne notes that "what Francona believes in to a degree is the Bill James theory that the most important outs aren't necessarily in the ninth inning."
If we need to get him in the eighth to get out [of a jam], and even if for some reason, I was uncomfortable pitching him in the ninth ... you don't want to lose the game that early when you have a weapon that valuable down there.Did you read this post, Terry?
This is especially good news after watching Joe Torre stubbornly stick with Luis Vizcaino in the eighth inning of the Yankees' game against Tampa Bay on Thursday night. Vizcaino couldn't keep the Rays off the board and lost the game -- while Mariano Rivera looked on from the bullpen, hopeful for some "save" work in the ninth. Down 7-6, Kyle Farnsworth finished the game. Good call, Joe!