No Qualms With A.J. Hinch As Astros Season Ends

The Houston Astros’ cinderella season came to an end last night when the Kansas City Royals defeated the Astros 7-2 in game five.

When losing big games, many try to find people to blame in key spots in the ballgame. One questionable decision that have fans talking was the decision to bring Mike Fiers out of the bullpen in 5th inning after Alex Gordon rocketed a double to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs.

Manager A.J. Hinch elected to call Mike Fiers out of the pen, instead of other relievers, namely Dallas Keuchel. Fiers would allow an Alex Rios double and later a sac fly to push the Royals ahead 4-2 after five innings.

Some fans wanted Keuchel in that spot and then questioned why Hinch brought him in for the 8th inning when trailing 4-2.

Personally, I have zero issue with the way Hinch managed his bullpen last night. I understand why people wanted Keuchel in the 5th inning but it was just too early for Hinch. To me, Keuchel was the team’s best relief option in this game and you don’t use your best guy in the 5th inning, even when it’s the most pressing moment of the game. When was the last time you saw a closer come into the game in the 7th inning or earlier in a key spot? It just doesn’t happen.

Kuechel was the right call in the 8th as well. As I previously mentioned, he was the best option and that’s the guy you use no matter what with the season on the line, winning or losing. You want your best guy out there and Keuchel was the guy. It just didn’t work out, but Hinch definitely made the right call there.

Fans will always find things to nitpick when things go sour. Unfortunately for the Astros, they outplayed the Royals in four of the five games but find themselves out of the playoffs. That’s what happens when your bullpen is gassed late in the season.

There’s no one to blame, it just is what it is.

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