Bottom of the 6th, first and third, one out, Miles up against Rodney... Do you pinch hit with Speez or jrod? With the pitcher's spot up next, and Duncan already in the game, La Russa probably didn't want to use all of his left-handed bats. Also, Miles is the only guy who can back-up Eckstein, so the 6th might be a hair early to bring him out. Miles doesn't seem any more likely to K in that situation than Speez... Letting him bat was OK by me. It does however, for the second game in a row, expose the problem of putting defensive replacements in to start. Wilson batted in the 8th of Game 3 in a situation when jrod or speez would have been preferable. With a lead though, LaRussa didn't want either of those guys in the field and Taguchi was already in right having started for Enc.
Looper starts the 8th... The choices were A)AW for 2 innings; B)Flores against Pudge; C)Thompson; D)Looper. Again I'm OK with TLR's choice... I thought it was nuts for him to let Flores face Wright in the 8th of Game 7 of the NLCS. He got away with it, but that's not the matchup you want. Looper has been better than Thompson and AW is not as effective in 2 inning stints. So...
Miles swings away against Zumaya in the 8th with Yadi on 1st and no outs. Why no bunt? I don't get it... Very un-LaRussa-like decision. I think I might be missing something here, because I can't imagine why you wouldn't bunt... put it in between the defensively helpless Zumaya, the injured Casey, and the hobbled Pudge... it's probably Miles best hope to get on against the fireballer.
All in all I thought LaRussa faced a number of tough decisions and mostly made the correct calls.
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