On Monday it was the defense, on Sunday it was Kapler.
The Giants manager took heat from all sides for his decision to pull starter Kevin Gausman 80 pitches into his start vs. the Dodgers, when it looked like he was cruising. Kapler replaced Gausman with reliever Tyler Rogers, who proceeded to give up two runs and the lead, before the rest of the bullpen unraveled.
Former pitcher Mike Krukow is not one to rip a manager, but he did point out a curious inconsistency with how Kapler is handling his starting pitchers when he joined Murph and Mac on Monday.
“That point in the seventh inning Gausman still had his stuff,” Krukow began. “He still had the respect of the Dodgers. When Kapler came out there and took him, I was surprised by it. Especially when you consider the night before when Johnny Cueto got into the sixth inning and had a bad break, lost his no hitter, in that inning he walked two guys. He clearly had lost command of his stuff, maybe his concentration, but he was allowed to pitch further in the game, wound up giving up a home run to (Justin) Turner on just kind of a lazy slider that didn’t do a whole lot.
“The very fact that he was allowed to continue in the game, with a 93 pitch level, having walked two guys, then the very next day with an 81 pitch level Gausman was taken out after he’d given up base hits on two-strike counts when hitters were making adjustments, I thought that was a bit of an inconsistency with Kapler’s decision.”
Kapler explained that he pulled Gausman in part to keep him fresh for starts down the line, even though Gausman may only appear eight or nine more times in this shortened season. That also made Kruk scratch his head.
“It’s hard for me being an ex-starter. I know the mindset of Gausman. He not a guy you need to protect, he’s in his seventh year. He’s 29 years old and he didn’t want to come out of the ballgame.”
Still, Krukow reiterated there is just too much unknown to justify slamming Kapler.
“I will not criticize Gabe Kapler simply because I don’t know what was going on in that dugout. I don’t know what was going on going into that start, and those are things that he may know and he may never let the world know simply because those are things you keep in house. You don’t let your opponent know these things.”
Listen to the full interview below.