They may be Bobby Cox proteges, but Fredi and Ned Yost haven’t followed the Hall of Fame skipper’s lead when it comes to bullpen management.
During the early part of the last decade, Bobby used Smoltzie for two or more innings in six playoff appearances. Each time he entered the game in the 8th, and not always with the lead. In those games he logged 13 innings and allowed only two runs.
In Game 1 of the 2001 NLDS, Smoltz was brought in with the Braves leading by three. He allowed a run in two innings for the save. In that year’s NLCS, Smoltzie got the call with the Braves trailing 3-2. He pitched two scoreless frames in a losing effort.
One year later, in Game 5 of the NLDS, Bobby went to Smoltz with the Braves behind by two. He responded with another two scoreless.
He blew the save but got the win in a two-inning outing of Game 2 of the ’03 NLDS.
The following year, in the second game of the NLDS, Bobby brought in Smoltz with the Braves trailing by a run. He pitched three scoreless and the Braves ended up winning in 11.
Three days later, Smoltz earned a win with two more scoreless innings.
Clearly, had Bobby been managing the 2013 Braves in Game 4 of the NLDS, or the Royals on Friday night, Craig Kimbrel and Wade Davis would’ve gotten the call to start the 8th.