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October 12, 2001

The Daily Prospectus

Notes on a Monitor

by Joe Sheehan

Short attention span today, folks...
  • Is this a fun game or what? Bartolo Colon, a stocky, 26-year-old right-hander, throws eight shutout innings Tuesday by riding a fastball in the high 90s. Two days later, Jamie Moyer, a thin, 38-year-old left-hander, throws six shutout innings without breaking 90 mph more than a handful of times, if at all.

    How can you not love a game that allows people with such disparate skill sets as Colon and Moyer to dominate, each in their own way?

  • I've accepted that a key trait of major-league managers is an unyielding commitment to the starting lineup. But am I the only one who is curious as to how the Indians/Mariners game might have developed had Charlie Manuel sent up some left-handed hitter to bat for Travis Fryman or Marty Cordova in the seventh inning yesterday against Jeff Nelson?

    Nelson comes from the side and throws that frisbee slider than just chews up right-handed hitters. They hit .119 with a .189 slugging percentage against him during the season. Given the desperation of the situation, I think it would have been worth it to see if Russ Branyan or Eddie Taubensee could have put some added pressure on the Mariners.

    I made this point yesterday, and it's worth repeating: if you're not going to use a player in the situation best geared to his talents, then why have that player on the roster? Branyan's main value is his ability to go yard off a right-hander; if he's not going to be sent up down five runs against Jeff Nelson, you might as well let Ryan Drese have the roster spot.

  • Hey, what's with all the lineout double plays?

  • The Diamondbacks go into tonight having split the first two games of their series with the Cardinals. Of course, they've scored just two runs, and now have the back half of the rotation scheduled.

    The first thing the D'backs need to do is get Craig Counsell back to the leadoff spot. The entire reason they scored enough runs to win the division was the use of Counsell, instead of Tony Womack, high in the lineup. If they're going to win this series, they need the offensive boost Counsell's OBP provides.

  • Tonight's Darryl Kile/Miguel Batista matchup looks like a big advantage for the Cardinals, and they do have the better pitcher going. Don't dismiss Batista, who had a heck of a season (139 1/3 innings, 3.36 ERA, 1.7 SNWAR) as a swingman. He gets a lot of groundballs, and has filled the role that Ramiro Mendoza filled on the great Yankee teams of the past few seasons.

    Batista doesn't have Mendoza's control, but like Counsell, he's another of the spear carriers who have propped up the Snakes behind the big three of Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, and Luis Gonzalez. It wouldn't be surprising if he matched Kile pitch-for-pitch tonight.

  • I'll have more on this over the weekend, but when they face John Burkett tonight, the Astros will be seeing pretty much the worst pitcher they've faced in their four-postseasons-in-five-years run. Burkett, of course, was the sixth- or seventh-best starter in the NL this year, so it's not like he's a soft touch.

    No team has ever lost the first two games of a best-of-five at home and won the series--sorry, Yanks--but I would really like to see Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio put up some numbers the next couple of days, just so they can stop hearing about the lack of success they've had over the years.

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. You can contact him by clicking here.

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Joe's other articles. You can contact Joe by clicking here

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