Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bonehead move, Willie

Wednesday Night:

Before the first pitch, Cohen and Rose reported that there was a rumor going around that Kaz Ishii was queued up as a long man behind Pedro Martinez tonight.

I'm going to be an optimist and assume there is little reason to expect needing one. Pedro's pitched into the 7th in 17 of his 21 starts, so it could only be a sign of injury or strict pitch count. Regardless, Ishii has finally been evicted from the rotation. This is happy news indeed. He has proven to be less valuable than Jason Phillips, less valuable than a replacement level pitcher (salary per ESPN: $2.58M), and generally a huge liability that no amount of Rick Peterson mojo could fix.

Meanwhile Jae Seo can finally stop asking himself what in God's name he needs to do to take that job back. He's been putting in very solid work at Norfolk (4.29 ERA, 111 K/30 BB in 121.2 IP) and looked great in his brief early-season stint for big club.

Pedro is not looking (sounding, actually) on top of his game. Milwaukee scored two runs in the 2nd, on two doubles and a single, and he has yet to strike a Brewer out.

Thursday Afternoon:

I guess I did a good deal of nagging about moving David Wright up in the lineup, but I really haven't gone off on Willie for any particular in-game decision he's made. It's time. Leaving Braden Looper out there to lose the game is inexcusable.

Looper was obviously spent from his 35-pitch outing the night before, and isn't really "lights out" when he does have his 96mph stuff. Meanwhile, Juan Padilla, who's become my favorite reliever since Heath Bell, was just sitting there in the bullpen. He had thrown only 14 pitches is his inning of August 2, and was just waiting to put his cool glasses on and go dommo the Brewers.

But no, Willie went with the Proven Closer because it was the 9th inning and bringing anyone else in, even a guy who's been as effective as Padilla, invites (more) postgame criticism if the non-Closer gets smacked around.

We'll never know how that game would have turned out otherwise, but it was a terrible managerial decision nonetheless. So a bitterly sarcastic "Nice work" to Willie Randolph.

Thursday Late Afternoon:

Roberto Hernandez just spit the bit for the second time in two games, this time in spectacular fashion. 1 inning, 6 hits, 1 walk, 5 runs. The 9-7 ninth inning lead became a 12-9 deficit. It looks like they're going to lose to the Brewers again.

More on this game tomorrow. They're down to their final out now (D. Wright, 1st and 3rd), and I'm not going to want to write about it for a little while.


stumped1 said...

i agree that everything hasnt come up roses, but shouldnt your closer be able to work 2 days in a row? 2 innings or not he was the guy to go to. and as bad as ishii has been, castro as the backup instead of phillips has been good. so while that trade sure didnt help, i dont see where it hurt much either. because seo and phillips might very well have been no better than castro and ishii. i know seo has done decent, not great, at aaa but that is a far cry from the majors. and no, i dont see him as a savior or a great upgrade for the pitching. if he comes up and proves me wrong for more than 1 or 2 starts feel free to call me on it and i will be happy to take my medicine.

Doyle said...

35 pitches is a lot for a relief pitcher, Stumpy, and whether or not a closer SHOULD be able to handle it and be 100% the next night, Looper obviously wasn't. If you think a tired Looper's still better than a rested Padilla, that's fine. I don't.

The trade hurt because we gave up a player and assumed a rather large contract for a guy who has been WORSE than your average no-marginal-cost journeyman. That hurts.

I liked the Castro signing, and he's been better than Phillips, but it's just an example of a move that's gone well. It doesn't redeem the Ishii trade at all.

As for Jae Seo, he's been pitching better than Ishii all year. That it's been at Norfolk isn't his fault.

Anonymous said...

i see what you are sayin doyle, but i still think that they not made the trade of phillips it could have hurt just as much by not havin castro there. ya, ishii sucks and seo probably would be a better alternative, but not to the extent of savin this team. i dont condone using looper again, and maybe he should have been pulled after a batter, seeing he was tired, but hes still only going 2 days in a row and i dont think another pitcher had been warmed up. a manager should be able to trust these guys 2 days in a row no matter.

Prof. Hubie Brooks said...

It was really only a matter of time before The David Wright Factor turned, worm-like, and bit us in the undercarriage like some sort of crazed Geisha.

Of course, what this leads to is our host growing snippy ("That's fine, Stumpy. Take your uppity analysis and post to someone who cares."), as well as a fair amount of navel-gazing vis-a-vis the Omar-assembled bullpen, Willie's fitness for handling said 'pen (that hardest thing a manager has to do, other than to sit Crash Davis down and give him his outright release), and whether or not the Metros can storm past the vaunted, first-place Padres and into fourth place. .500 beckons, friends.

Anonymous said...

What's a crazed Geisha, Hubie? How appropriate, on/at/or near the 60-year anniversary of the bombing, that this Doylean redoubt of political correctness would make a bizarre remark such as this.

G'day, Mr. Kang!

In any case, it's hardly the David Wright Factor or the Looper Meter or the Doyle Foil or any other fabricated bogeyman we might devise. The Mets suck. Suck like whoa. Suck in the same aggrieved manner that a dehydrated marathoner sets to with a Dole fruit juice bar, suck like Gov. McGreevey's poll numbers, suck so hard their collective cheeks atrophy and their eyes roll back in their head and all the cilia in their noses go flat and quivery against the walls of the nostrils.

Doyle said...

Three quick things:

1. I'm developing a certain pride in attracting some of the most bizarre and inscrutable comments in the blogosphere.

2. Who makes a McGreevey joke about his poll numbers? That's a big target to miss.

3. What "Doylean redoubt of polical correctness"?

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