After Myers gives up the three-run home run to Jose Bautista, but then finishes the sixth, why wasn't he taken out?
At that point, Houston still had a 4-3 lead. Myers' pitch count wasn't up, but he wasn't striking anyone out. So, why does Mills leave him in for that pivotal seventh inning? Was the bullpen too depleted after Friday's heavy usage? Does he just not trust Jeff Fulchino enough to get the job done?
Because, as it stands right now, the Houston bullpen should be good for the last three innings. Pick any one of the lesser relievers for the seventh inning, bring in Lopez for the eighth and Shark for the ninth. Voila, the Astros have a victory.
But, because Myers is the nominal ace of this staff and prides himself on pitching deep into games, he was probably given the benefit of the doubt. He went out for that seventh and couldn't finish the deal. That's on Myers as much as it is Mills.
But, if we're to assume that the bullpen's usage factored into the decision not to pull Myers sooner, we need to ask a different question. Should Myers be throwing after Aneury or whoever the fifth starter will be? That fifth guy usually is the weakest link, usually needs the most help from the bullpen and generally cannot pitch deep into games. You assume your ace can, saving up the bullpen for the next guy.
But, Myers has had that trend of breaking down late this season. So, wouldn't he be better off pitching removed from that fifth spot? Switch up Wandy and Myers next time the Astros have an off-day and we can solve half of this equation. Then, it's no longer about bullpen usage issues, but on how Brad Mills handles his erstwhile staff ace. And that may be the first major beef I have with Millsy.