USA fans watching the WBC were irate with manager Mark DeRosa for mishandling Daniel Bard and his bullpen against Venezuela.
Team USA was absolutely in control of their World Baseball Classic quarterfinal against Veneuzuela, leading 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
That’s when manager Mark DeRosa put Daniel Bard on the mound. That’s also when things fell apart.
Bard’s appearance was nothing short of a disaster. After hitting Jose Altuve with a pitch to load the bases, he tossed a wild pitch to gift Venezuela the first of four runs that would erase the United States’ lead and put them behind.
DeRosa’s decision to stick with Bard after the scary HBP, which took Altuve out of the game, was immediately slated by USA fans on Twitter.
USA fans blasted Mark DeRosa for sticking with Daniel Bard in WBC
There is a three-batter minimum at the WBC, so Bard had to face at least that many. DeRosa couldn’t avert disaster before the Altuve HBP. But he could have after it.
Instead, DeRosa opted to led Bard face a fourth batter. Venezuela immediately profited. That’s why he’s getting so much criticism, and why it’s largely deserved.
Bard started his career with the Red Sox but he’s spent the last three seasons with the Rockies. Last year he was 6-4 with an ERA of 1.79 and 34 saves. So the 37-year-old isn’t a bad pitcher. He just had a bad night.
It’s the manager’s job to…well…manage that. If a pitcher doesn’t have it, you’ve got to be ready to replace him. DeRosa didn’t have another reliever ready. Team USA paid the price for that.
DeRosa played for an array of teams including the Braves, Rangers, Cubs, Guardians, Cardinals, Giants, Nationals and Blue Jays. After retiring in 2013, he got a gig as an analyst for MLB Network. He had no prior managerial experience.