Managing during the regular season and playoffs are two entirely different animals. In the postseason, skippers are constantly faced with contentious situations that not only make or break a game, but also the season.
And while the focus of the playoffs tends to be on stars performing to their regular-season accolades, the decisions managers green light often have a similarly drastic effect on a game’s outcome.
For instance, Jim Leyland should have saved dominant southpaw reliever Drew Smyly to use against left-handed hitter David Ortiz in Game 2. Instead, Joaquin Benoit served up a costly grand slam to the oft-clutch Ortiz, handing the Boston Red Sox a win that could have easily been in the Detroit Tigers' back pocket.
Read on to see the critical managerial moves that shifted the ALCS and NLCS.