Sometimes decisions that seem like no-brainers come back to haunt you. The Giants don't have much of an offense. Everybody knows this. And so far in this series against the Braves, the offense has come down to Pat Burrell. While everyone else was futile in the Giants' line up, Burrell had gone two for three with a three-run homer and a double. His batting heroics had helped give Matt Cain his 4-0 lead.
But then Burrell was removed for a pinch runner after his double in the sixth. As it turned out, that was only the half way point in the game. The Giants never scored another run and the Braves came back, tied the game to push it into extra innings and eventually won on an Ankiel homer in the eleventh.
Burrell is not God's gift as a fielder. He's pretty slow on the base paths. Giants' manager, Bruce Bochy had made this move all season as his starters usually carry the day and his bullpen closes the door. But that didn't happen on this night and Burrell's replacement, Nick Schierholtz, got two at bats and was just another cog in what became the Giants' anemic offense. Schierholtz struck out and flied out in his at bats. Of course, there is no guarantee that Burrell would have fared any different than Schierholtz did, but wouldn't you rather have your team's most dynamic threat up in those at bats instead?
The Giants' pitching is fabulous, but they need all the offense they can get. It might be in Bochy's best interest to let Burrell stay in the game because this is the playoffs and one big hit can make all the difference.