From Kevin Cash’s decision to remove Blake Snell in the 2020 World Series to Dave Roberts’ early hook of Tyler Anderson in the 2022 NLDS, postseason baseball has witnessed its fair share of managers making seemingly premature pitching changes, often leading to disastrous outcomes.
This familiar script seemed to be unfolding once more when Torey Lovullo appeared to be making a questionable move against the Phillies in Game 3 of the NLCS.
The Diamondbacks were trailing 0-2 in the series, and rookie Brandon Pfaadt had masterfully stifled a Phillies offense that had been a juggernaut throughout the postseason.
Lovullo began his slow walk to the mound to take the ball from his young starter, a move that raised eyebrows as it was only the sixth inning.
Yet, despite the chorus of boos echoing through Chase Field during this pivotal pitching change, Lovullo’s decision ultimately proved to be the right one.
After the Diamondbacks pulled out a win, Lovullo spoke about what was going through his head at the time.
Per Nick King at AZ Family, Torey Lovullo looked towards his bench coaches and asked, “Am I an idiot?”
As it turns out, he was not, and the decision to pull Pfaadt played a substantial role in the much-needed Game 3 win for the Diamondbacks.