Monday, June 19, 2006

Reds take opener

Theo Epstein might be kicking himself a little bit this evening, or whenever he gets word of tonight's game. Wily Mo Pena looked promising in April, but has been injured for weeks. Meanwhile the player he traded away is, as of this writing, very much in the NL Cy Young picture.

The Mets couldn't get much going at all against Bronson Arroyo tonight. He went the distance on 116 pitches. This is after his last two outings of 127 and 111 pitches. As you might expect for a good Cincinnati starter, he's getting yoked like an ox. Carlos Beltran drove in both runs, one on a solo shot.

Orlando Hernandez pitched a great game. He had to work around some trouble but for the most part did so successfully, and he struck out seven in as many innings.

I didn't quite understand Willie Randolph's decision to leave him in as long as he did. With two outs in the top of the seventh, it was a one-run game with two Reds on base. Hernandez had thrown over 110 pitches, and had to face Felipe Lopez, who was hitting .301 (with little power) against righties.

Why wasn't there anyone even warming up at that point? What's the point of having such a deep bullpen if you're going to use a visibly tiring Hernandez in that spot? As it turns out, he retired Lopez on a weak flyball, and runs 3 and 4 didn't score until the Feliciano/Bradford eighth. I still think it was a totally unnecessary risk, and one which was probably taken purely to put on a show of "total confidence" in the old warhorse.

This isn't a knock on Hernandez, who ended up throwing 119 pitches (more than Arroyo needed for his CG), and did get out of trouble. But that was a bad gamble in a very important situation.


Yahoo's Jeff Passan examines the ways in which is a terrible product. I guess we should consider the source (which also provides real-time baseball content for fun and profit), but the blackout restrictions are ridiculous. Especially when they advertise the ability to watch your team's games, which are always blacked out.

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