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Cardinals vs. Red Sox: Boston takes the lead on Jonny Gomes' homer and Mike Matheny's bullpen management

Jonny Gomes makes Mike Matheny pay for his confusing bullpen management.

Eileen Blass-USA TODAY

Eventually Mike Matheny and the St. Louis Cardinals were going to pay for Mike Matheny's inexplicable bullpen management, and in Game 4 it happened: With Lance Lynn tiring against the middle of the order in the sixth inning Matheny first didn't bring in Randy Choate to pitch to David Ortiz, who was instead kind-of-intentionally walked, and then did bring in Seth Maness to pitch to strikeout-prone Jonny Gomes, who instead hit a three-run homer to put the Red Sox up 4-1.

Shane Robinson and Matt Carpenter got the Cardinals back on the board in the seventh, but through eight innings the Red Sox lead by a score of 4-2.

It's hard to emphasize just how badly Matheny bungled the pitching situation in the sixth. Not only did he buy the hype and put David Ortiz on, despite having two pitchers who at least mitigate much of his hitting ability, he also brought in the eminently contactable Seth Maness with runners on base and a low-OBP strikeout guy up to bat. That it proceeded to go as badly as it could possibly go isn't a reason to get on Matheny about it so much as the example people who haven't been paying as much attention needed to get pissed off about it.

Matheny's reputation as a player's manager etc. is certainly worth something, but Sunday night he put his relievers into situations that consistently emphasized the things they can't do, rather than the things they can.