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.
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
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