Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Baseball Talk other Than Steroids

So, I'm watching the end of the Cubs/Phillies game toinght. The Cubs have a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. Ryan Dempster comes on to save the game. He strikes the first batter out. What does he do next? He walks four batters in a row, and now the score is 2-1. He manages to strike the next two guys out and get the save.

That's good and all, but what I can't figure out why is even given that opportunity? Why the hell after you walk four batters in a row in a game winning situation like that are you allowed to fucking keep on pitching? Dusty Baker, like usual when he wins, got lucky with his asinine managing decisions.

Most of the league's managers would have had a guy warming up after the first two guys are walked. But not Dusty Baker, and you wonder why your damn team is teetring on the .500 level and knocking themselves out of the wild card race. Fuck the injury debate; it's old. Dusty Baker is one of the scariest managers this team has ever had. Which is kind of funny for a fan to say after the success they've had under him. But if you watched as many Cubs games as I have you would have no problem understanding my posistion.


At 8/03/2005 12:21:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

I've never been much of a fan of Dusty Baker. He's the kind of guy who can get you to a place you're happy about, but then be unable to function when everything's on the line. He clearly screwed the Giants out of winning the 2002 World Series, and of course, just like Grady Little in 2003 was unable to take his star pitcher out in time before he got clobbered.

The closer thing is interesting, because I think possibly most managers would leave their closer in during that situation, believe it or not. I saw Mariano Rivera in a situation where he was getting knocked around pretty good, but Torre kept him in. Rivera got the save.

I think sometimes managers want to make sure that they remain cool even when the house is burning, and show confidence in "their guy." A lot of times that backfires, but you don't want your guy going out there expecting to fail, remembering that time he couldn't get the outs.

Bobby Cox absolutely gave Dan Kolb every chance in the world to have the closer job this year. In fact, Kolb is the reason the Braves aren't about 10 games ahead right now. But he's "the guy" and it finally got to a sort of breaking point, despite all the confidence Cox showed Kolb--Kolb didn't return the favor.

But also, despite what I think of Baker, I don't think he's necessarily the reason the Cubs are hovering around .500. They continue to have the problems that are entirely the fault of the organization--their top farm pitchers Wood and Prior were allowed to pitch way too many innings in their first years. It was great to see Wood K 20 batters against the Astros that day, but that wasn't good for his arm, and he always seemed to pitch deep into the game. Same with Prior. And they've sort of been ruined. They are continually rehabbed and thrown out there at the drop of a hat.

I would definitely blame the injuries for the Cubs. Because we know that when those pitchers are healthy--the Cubs can make it interesting. They just need to stop being stupid. When Wood rehabs, they need to probably only allow him to pitch out of the bullpen or something. Not go out and throw 100 pitches.

At 8/03/2005 12:23:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

As far as I know, that is the plan with Wood, and I like it. He would actually make a hell of a closer.

And I'm by no means blaming Baker for all of it; I was just in a hell of a huff last night and frustrated. The injuries definately have something to do wtih it. But Dempster is a little different than Rivera in a situation like that.


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