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Mark Hendrickson faces a tough assignment tonight, with the Green Monster looming for Boston's righty bats. Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield goes for the Sox. According to the Yahoo preview, Mike Bordick gets his fourth consecutive start at SS, so Chris Woodward's shoulder must still not be 100%. As anticipated, the Jays aren't going with a strict C platoon -- this is one of those nights that Greg Myers gets a rest while Tom Wilson starts vs. the right-hander. It's on Sportsnet and the FAN, but I think I'm going to watch the Boston TV feed on WSBK. Enjoy.
Game 17: Fun in Fenway | 48 comments | Create New Account
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_Gwyn - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#90209) #
I don't think Mirabelli is having much fun out there.
_Cristian - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#90210) #
Somebody give that Delgado boy a raise!
_M.P. Moffatt - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#90211) #
Umm, I think Delgado would prefer to be called a man, Cristian.

_Dr B - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#90212) #
It's quiet....
...too quiet...:-)

I worry every time Hendrickson pitches. He just doesn't seem to strike that many people out. Usually that means relying on a bit of luck and good defence. Luckily he has the O-Dog and the F-Cat behind him...

It must be annoying that F-Cat gets on base so often. If he didn't Vernon couldn't ground into so many double plays...
Coach - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#90213) #
I don't think Mirabelli is having much fun out there.

On the Boston channel, they showed Tom Wilson sympathizing with his fellow catcher after Doug couldn't hold a pitch that would otherwise have been called a strike. Of course, the way Jim Joyce is calling them behind the plate, it could have been anything. The ump started out with a very high strike zone, then suddenly, to Todd Walker's dismay, low and away was good.

Excellent job by Lurch so far; he's got the double-play grounders when he needed them. Mixes in a 79-80 mph curve and an even slower one at 73-74 to keep hitters off balance, the fastball is 89-90 but he's spotting it well. I wonder what kind of pitch count the big guy is on, and whether the Jays have a plan to limit his innings this year.

Vernon Wells almost broke his recent flurry of GIDPs by bouncing into a triple play, but it wasn't hit quite hard enough, and Cat -- having a terrific 3-for-3 night with his short, quick stroke -- broke it up at second anyway. Note to Tom Wilson: when you swing at a two-strike knuckler, RUN!

I'm enjoying Sean McDonough and Jerry Remy. They sound like two friends who love baseball watching a game. Unlike Faulds, for whom every play is a mystery, and Cerutti, who seems incapable of an off-the-cuff remark. The old infielder Rem-dog correctly said Eric Hinske "turned that into a bad hop" by stepping in on a hard bouncer, and the boys chatted about the famous 33-inning game that began 22 years ago tonight. Pawtucket and Rochester played until 4:00 a.m. on Easter Sunday, then someone woke up the IL commissioner and the game was postponed. Current BoSox 1B coach Dallas Williams had a rough game over the two days, going 0-for-13.

Millar just hit one into the new seats above the Monster; 3-2.
Coach - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#90214) #
Hendrickson's mechanics are slipping as he's in the 80-pitch vicinity; a visit from Gil Patterson didn't help much, but he got out of the inning with no further damage. Big #43 has certainly made a quality start; I'm just not sure I want him back out for the seventh. Maybe just until Walker's next AB, then it's Aquilino time.
_M.P. Moffatt - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#90215) #
That's funny.. Rochester and Pawtucket played this afternoon.. I considered going to the game, but I had too much work to do.

I wonder if they scheduled that game today because of what happened 22 years ago. An anniversary of sorts.

Coach - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#90216) #
Lurch threw 84 good pitches and leaves with the lead. Jeff Tam is in, which makes sense. The only scheduled lefty hitter in the next seven batters is Todd Walker.
Coach - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#90217) #
Mirabelli welcomed Tam with a roller up the middle for a single. Grady had Jackson bunt, to advance the tying run into scoring position -- J.P. must have either cringed, or laughed. With first base open, they should pitch around Walker and try for a DP grounder.
Coach - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#90218) #
That's funny -- Cerutti (a lefty) thought they should pitch to Todd, because he sure wouldn't want to face Nomar. However, you have to make Garciaparra swing at a sinker. Instead, Tam was extremely careful, missing very far away with four straight pitches. Uh-oh...
Coach - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#90219) #
Fercryinoutloud! Tam can't throw a strike. He wild pitches in the tying run, and you just know it's going to get worse.
Coach - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#90220) #
After a generous call for strike one to Millar, Tam is still missing by a mile. 26 pitches, 19 balls. Now he has to throw a cripple on 3-1 to the hottest hitter this side of Chunichi -- or walk him. So he walks in the go-ahead run, bouncing a 58-footer -- why is he still in there????
_Cristian - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#90221) #
Tam vs. Hillebrand

This should be interesting. The pitcher who can't throw a strike versus the hitter who won't take a walk.
Coach - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#90222) #
Nice job, O-Dog -- a cinch double-play ball, but Hudson boots it and they are lucky to get one. So it won't be an error (unless you buy my E-10 scoring) and another run scores: 5-3, Boston. Finally, Tosca comes out to make a pitching change. This is getting tiresome.
_Shane - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#90223) #
That was a joke. Where's all the Jeff Tam appologists now?

Until he proves he can be a pre-Poliite guy why bring him in to these tight situations? Lopez has shown to be far more effective. Just because Ricciardi signed him, and he's a veteran pitcher, blah blah... That was pathetic. Another win handed away. Even if you're blind, sixteen games into the season, atleast have another RH pitcher warming up with Miller. There was zero excuse for leaving Tam in, especially considering he never should have been brought in to begin with.

But it's early in the season. It's OK to give away games to the good teams.
Coach - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#90224) #
Cerutti: "I hate to second-guess after it happened". Well, John, you could try second-guessing sooner next time.

Looks like Brandon Lyon will get the save opportunity after all; if he converts it, that will add insult to injury, considering the performance of the Jays bullpen. Trever Miller, who looked good against the righty pinch-hitter, just walked his lefty to start the eighth.
Coach - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#90225) #
I spoke too soon. Just bring Linton in, and there's no save situation -- 2-run HR by Mirabelli breaks it wide open, 7-3. Ugly.
_Shane - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#90226) #
As Robert or Mr. Moffatt began last week, mistakes havbe been made. Ricciardi signed them (Creek, Tam,) and what limited amount of use can be had from them, Tosca can't pick their spots. It's a 3-2 ball game, seventh innning, and your three best relievers never make a pitch.

But it's early. There's all kinds of games left.
_M.P. Moffatt - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#90227) #
"Worst... bullpen... ever".

I'm just going to end up repeating myself, but what the heck is the point of having all these pitchers if they all stink? I mean, the Jays can't even find 7 or 8 decent pitchers, so JP decides to have 12 on the roster. To his credit, he *did* sign a number of great bench players, but what the heck is the point if they'll all spend the year in Syracuse?

This certainly is a frustrating team to watch. I mean, I'm an Expos fan, but I've never been so frustrated by a team. This team actually reminds me of the mid 80's Expos.. there's a great deal of front line talent, and a godawful supporting cast. I still believe this team will win 80-85 games.. I'm not jumping off the bandwagon... but they look like they could do so much more.

A good showing by Hendrickson, but he's going to run into trouble if he keeps up this K/BB ratio.

_King Rat - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#90228) #
It's interesting to read these comments after watching the Jeff Tam Walk Extravaganza. Sort of like watching Titanic, only less annoying.

I cannot for the life of me figure out why Tam was left in to face Hillenbrand. I was howling for Miller after the wild pitch to Ramirez, but I'll concede that that's an either/or call. I'm absolutely baffled, however, as to what about Millar's plate appearance convinced Tosca that Tam should have another to batter to get his stuff together.

The bullpen will drive me nuts again this year. Would it be impossible to find middle relievers who can find the plate? There's nothing I find as infuriating as watching walk after walk after walk...
_M.P. Moffatt - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#90229) #
I get more frustrated at LaRussian bullpen construction. It rarely works and it wastes roster spots. The best bullpen I ever saw was the '94 Expos. Only *5* relievers, and *all* of them threw righthanded. Why can't the Jays do this?

Coach - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#90230) #
Faulds ended the game with his signature call: "outside -- strike three".

Very disappointing; I'm not going to pin the loss on anybody but Jeff Tam. Some will blame J.P. for signing him and Tosca for using him, but the guy is a lot better than Scott Cassidy, who would have been in there a year ago, and he had done his job three times this week, so I can't second-guess the GM or the manager -- unfortunately, the pitcher was horrible tonight. With each successive hitter, it was more obvious that it wasn't Jeff's night, but there was no time to get another righty warm. A good dugout camera shot showed Carlos with his head between his knees; believe me, he takes these losses harder than any of us. And sure, he could have brought in his lefty to face Hillenbrand, but we'd be howling even louder if Shea had gone deep.

So now what? I'd want to see more consistency from Tam before using him again with a one-run lead. Get him lots of work when the Jays are ahead (or behind) by two or three runs. If he keeps having these meltdowns, eventually you make a roster move. In the identical situation next time, give Lopez the ball. But when Aquilino fails one day (it's inevitable) that won't make him a bad Rule 5 selection or reflect on the skipper. It will prove he's human.

Turn the page, get 'em tomorrow.
_Shane - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#90231) #
As bad as this is, and as much as a lot of people want to say it's early, or it's the better competition, these are not young team mistakes.

Thirty something year old journeymen relievers are killing this team worse than anemic battting averages from pimple faced rookie hittters are.

How many quote's last september from Ricciardi did we see where he said, 'if we don't start getting better starting pichers, it's going to retard our developing players.' Well, the games a staring fine, the scores are low, unlike early '02, but the late innings are a slaughter. You pitch Halladay's guts out to finish last year on a high, but put yourself in a position to get laughed at like this? How is this horrid bullpen helping morale now J.P.??
_M.P. Moffatt - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#90232) #
I must admit, I thought the Tam signing was pretty good at the time. Not great, but good. I was quite critical of Creek on the Blue Jays newsgroup when it happened and I still am. Don't even get me started on Escobar.

Sure, the Jays *could* have Scott Cassidy. I didn't understand why they had Cassidy last year. I honestly don't understand why the Jays need so many pitchers. I also don't understand why they got rid of Scott Eyre; I can only assume there was a personality issue involved.

_Shane - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#90233) #
Some of us are more forgiving than others, that's apparent. But, this is Tam's second game this season where he's walked 4 batters. In my opinion, that's not just a bad game, or a cold night in New England.

Tam has to be near perfect to be successful. Whether you pitch him everyday, or on the days the Zodiac says too, he's just bad news. Let's look at his history, and then look ahead to '03's future late innings, do you really think this is going to stop? Is this really worth it? Alan Embree fluctuates year to year, it's proven, but this is Jeff Tam. Jeff Tam. We love J.P. Ricciardi, but please.
_Baseball Prospe - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#90234) #
"How long does it take to get to Sacramento on 80? About an hour, right?" Actually, it takes several really bad outings. Tam was horrible in 2002. His sinker usually didn't, his fastball wasn't, and get people out he couldn't. He's moved on to Toronto, so clearly, Ricciardi and Law think his troubles are behind him, at least for next year. I respectfully disagree, but their risk is pretty low.

_Shane - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#90235) #
M.P., not defending the Eyre move, all opinions aside, but remember they used Eyre's roster spot to bring up Hendrickson so he could be evaluated.
_Shane - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#90236) #
"How long does it take to get to Sacramento on 80? About an hour, right?" Actually, it takes several really bad outings. Tam was horrible in 2002. His sinker usually didn't, his fastball wasn't, and get people out he couldn't. He's moved on to Toronto, so clearly, Ricciardi and Law think his troubles are behind him, at least for next year. I respectfully disagree, but their risk is pretty low.

Amen, Brother.

Again, they were fringe journeymen to begin with, they got some glory, they had their moments, but what it is, it is. Heysus, let's please just move on, admit it on Blue Jay Administrative Way. Hit the eject button already. Bail out like Hinske on a lefty's breaking ball and "eject". "Eject"!
robertdudek - Friday, April 18 2003 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#90237) #
I don't understand why Tam was throwing everything low tonight. In the past he's shown himself to be a control pitcher, something that hasn't been apparent this year. Let's wait a few more weeks before we bail on him.

Tosca seems to be a creature of habit when it comes to the bullpen. It's always Politte in the 8th, Escobar in the 9th. I sure would have liked to see Politte start the bottom of the 7th tonight. But then you might end up blowing the game in the 8th or 9th anyway.

I just don't think this is a particularly good bullpen yet and it may take most of the season to find 4 guys you can rely on (I think we have 2 at the moment).
Dave Till - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 12:13 AM EDT (#90238) #
I didn't watch the game, but I see we've got another bullpen meltdown on our hands. :-(

All I will add is this: let's not get rid of Tam (or Creek, or Escobar) until the Jays get somebody better. (Jason Kershner is not somebody better, despite his hot start in Syracuse - if he had been any good, he would have made the ball club in April, and not been released by the Padres last year.)

J.P.'s job is to keep working the waiver wire to try to get some middle relievers - that's how he got Pete Walker.
_Mick - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 12:18 AM EDT (#90239) #
On The Worldwide Leader's increasingly tedious Baseball Tonight show earlier this evening, Rob Dibble suggested -- nay, demanded -- that Kelvim Escobar needed a trip to AAA to "learn how to pitch again."

This bears several questions, most of them serious.

First, um, well, what do you Toronto ZLCers think of that idea?

Second, does he seriously have any options left?

Third, Dibble criticized Escobar as "a thrower, not a pitcher, and these days especially, you need to know how to pitch a little."

Leading to, fourth, uh, Rob ... do you know the old phrase "physicial heal thyself?"

And fifth, "these days"? So, what, in 1990 when Dibble, Myers and Charlton Nastied their way to a ring, jes' plain ol' chuckin' it was okay, then?

Finally, sixth, does this "analysis" collapse under the microscope when one realizes learning "how to pitch again" presumes a prior knowledge?
_Shane - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 12:19 AM EDT (#90240) #
Creature of habit? I guess. Regardless of tonight's game, it was in the papers again this week, where Tosca was saying Politte's a one inning guy. Based on what? He used to start didn't he. When he came over from Phily they were considering using him as a starter, but now he can only throw a inning? I believe there was some game last year where he got hit around in a second inning of work, and the excuse was he was too amped up, and over extended himself.

Whatever the case is, the guys got a good arm and this one inning babied sh@t is foolish. Between he and possibly Lopez, they're the only ones in the pen that would have been around next April anyway. That's fairly telling.

None of the up sides of Tam, Creek, Linton, & Miller, are better than marginal, so why do they deserve this overwhelming grace many want to give out. Sure, they can't get any worse, but what if the alternative is that they can still terribly underwhelm until it's a bad idea let gone way way to long.
_Mick - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 12:23 AM EDT (#90241) #
The old phrase, of course, was "physician heal thyself."

"Physicial" (as misspelled above) was just a hot early-early-'80's dance tune by the scourge of many embarrassed-now-to-admit-it junior high boys' fantasies, Olivia Newton-John.
_Shane - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 12:30 AM EDT (#90242) #
Speaking of highlight shows...did anyone see the footage on TSN's SportsCenter where after Tam did his good deed, he was shown in the dugout taking a pretty nice bite out of his undershirt and ripped it off in his teeth?

Not a lie.
_DS - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 12:34 AM EDT (#90243) #
I agree 100% Shane. These guys in the bullpen aren't the future, they're innings filler. If they can't even do an average job of that, they have no business being on a major league roster. Bring up Kershner. He's pitched more innings so far this year than he got in spring training, and unlike Miller, he's actually performed admirably. Reichert? He can't be any worse than Tam. If they can't pass the mustard, bring in the next candidate. I fully expect to see a changing of the guard in the bullpen by the end of next week. If Tam or Creek or Miller can't get out Devil Rays or Royals, I fully expect them to be designated.
_Jack - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 12:42 AM EDT (#90244) #
The way team was put together is unusual. I could not see why they would carry 12 pitchers. It only weakens the bench. The defence is too poor on this team and the bench is very thin. They finally demoted Huckaby for an outfielder, but I feel they perhaps should contemplate a trade for a proven bench player/pinch hitter type.
As for the pen, it seems to be a regular weakness throughout the AL. The Jays will have to fill or plug in the holes from within.
This may sound nuts, but if the Jays were willing to pay some of Hitchcock's salary, the Yankees may consider a trade. He is a veteran pitcher who can perhaps fill in nicely with the right atmosphere. He is coming off that surgery from 2001, but he can still pitch. The pressure in the Bronx is too much for him. I truly sympathise with what he is going through right now.
Any ideas, guys?
_Exasperated - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 01:01 AM EDT (#90245) #
Conversations heard upon leaving Fenway Park...

"...And we thought our bullpen sucked. Well, atleast they've got the Leafs."
_King Rat - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 01:10 AM EDT (#90246) #
Taking Hitchcock would be insanity. The only way it would be less insane would be if the Yanks were going to pay his entire salary, which sort of defeats the purpose of trading him as the Jays would have to be nuts to give up anyone any good for him. Though Hitchcock and lots of cash for Wiggins would be funny in a cruel sort of way (for Wiggins, I mean.)

They showed Tam eating his shirt during the broadcast on Sportsnet. It was grimly funny. At the time I wasn't in much of a mood to laugh.

The larger question of what the Jays should do with the bullpen is one I'm unsure of how to answer. Escobar is here to stay, and while he's infuriating at times, if the coaching staff is willing to stand up to his ludicrous 'three outs tops' demand he can be useful. Politte and Lopez are both good and part of the future. Miller has been good enough in his last couple of outings that I'd keep him-the inning and a third against New York was impressive. Maddening though Tam was tonight, one outing shouldn't lead to a firing. If he continues to struggle with his location, however, he shouldn't last past mid-May. Linton, for whatever reason, doesn't infuriate me like Creek does, but he's sort of the definition of mediocre. And Creek...let's not talk about Creek. I will say, however, that I cannot conceive of Kershner being worse than Creek has been so far.

The thing is that all of these guys, except maybe Kelvim, are trying. Maybe it's just a bad patch. I'd give them all another shot. But if things don't improve for Linton and Creek in particular, I think I'd eventually cut bait and go with Reichert, Kershner and maybe Bowles if Tam got bad enough.

The wider question, of course, is why so many relievers are necessary. For fun, I've started up a season of Out of The Park baseball with the Jays opening day roster. Obviously, there's a world of difference between a computer game and the real thing. But two weeks into my virtual season, I've noticed that there simply isn't enough work to go around in the bullpen, at the same time that the short bench is seriously hindering my tactical flexibility in games. Part of that is the presence of Ken Huckaby, a problem the real Jays have solved. But I cannot understand for the life of me why 12 pitchers are necessary. The starters aren't that bad even in the nightmare scenario, and I can't imagine that there are stupefyingly huge tactical advantages to having seven mediocre relievers rather than six. I'm not sure precisely where I stand on the effects of bringing Werth up-his development may well be best served by keeping him in Syracuse. But surely the team would be better off with a good or even adequate pinch-hitter rather than an interchangable relief pitcher.
_benum - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 05:31 AM EDT (#90247) #
My 2 cents...

Complaining about 12 pitchers on the roster is valid BUT...of what use is another pinch hitter/defensive sub on the bench if the bullpen is going to give up 2+ runs when they get in the game?

Toscas 'Cardinal Sin' (IMO) is warming up one pitcher when the bullpen is so big (i.e. warm up 2). Tam needs regular work (according to him and the coaches), if he doesn't 'have it' (which was plain to see very early), go to the other righty. Watching him butcher the game while Tosca waited for the next lefty batter in the order to make the change was 'nails on chalkboard' painful.

I'd rather see Kershner than Creek (amen to that) and i'd rather see Thurman or anyone else for that matter than Tam.

When Tam is on, he gives you that potential DP ball. If he's off he's useless. The ratio is towards the latter too much IMHO.

M.P. Moffat:
"if he keeps up this K/BB ratio..."

Before todays game he had a ratio of something line 11 to 3 (my ESPN access isn't working right now).
The problem so far has been hits, not K/BB. He's got better stuff than Moyer (who's great) and seems to have a clue on the strike zone so there's always hope...
Dave Till - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#90248) #
I'd wait to judge the bullpen until the Jays are past the Terrible Twenty. The Yanks and Sox are good teams with good hitters - no wonder the bullpen is struggling against them.

But if Tam et al pitch poorly against the AL's weaker teams, punt them.
_Shane - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#90249) #
Dave, please. Lets not be silly. Having no ability what so ever to throw strikes...any strikes, has nothing to do with the level of talent your facing. If you never them a strike how can you find out if they're better than you? But like you said, you didn't have to sit through it.

As well, what's with the 'it's just one bad outing' thing anyway? What do you see in this stat line that impresses you?

8 innings pitched
12 hits
10 walks
4 strikeouts
.316 Batting Avg. against
2.64 WHIP

22 hits/walks in 8 innings pitched. Ya, that was one bad inning wasn't it.
Coach - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#90250) #
Maybe the ZLC should listen to someone who was there -- Richard Griffin. Nobody else has mentioned that the Jays bullpen would be much better if it featured Mark Hendrickson and Pete Walker; interesting point. There's no front-office-bashing in this column, just a reasonable suggestion that perhaps the problem is in the rotation.

I respectfully disagree on Lurch -- he'll be a useful starter. As I said before, "if he survives his first four outings with his confidence intact..." -- well, he has. Walker would have been ideal in the seventh last night. Too bad he's not available, at least until there's more starting depth. However, that missing #5 isn't apparent within the organization just yet.

Here are the latest stats fron Syracuse. Josh Towers went six innings yesterday, giving up just one run and not walking a batter. Kershner pitched two relief innings, allowing two hits and a walk, but he still has a 0.00 ERA. I don't see anyone else ready to help -- Brian Bowles' K/BB ratio is 1, and Reichert's sample size is pretty small. Towers, a soft-tossing righty with plus control, might be on deck when they tire of Linton, who is obviously just a mopup man. Should Josh be given a chance, and if so, in the rotation or the bullpen? It is a puzzle, and J.P. will provide the answer soon enough.
_M.P. Moffatt - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#90251) #
Coach: Griffin is 100% on the mark. This team could have *really* used Kenny Rogers.

King Rat: I'm kind of curious how a pitching staff like this would perform:

SP Doc
SP Lidle
SP Sturtze
SP P. Walker
SP J. Miller

RP Hendrickson
RP Lopez
RP Politte
RP T. Miller
RP Linton

I have a feeling it would perform just as well, if not better than the current setup, and the bench would be a heck of a lot better.

This scenario assumes Escobar was traded for shiny rocks. It would be sweet if we could go back in time, and use the money spent on Escobar to get KR and another starter. Oh well.

_Shane - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#90252) #
Agreed on Pete Walker's value. If he's effective as a starter (which he is) and bullpens are supposedly more easily patched together than rotations are to fill, you can't afford to take him out of the rotation, and you should still be able to find a pitcher(s) who can be effective in one/two inning high leverage stints, ie. the seventh inning.

Myself, I don't care for having a guy like Hendrickson coming out the bullpen, in the same way I don't like Justin Miller coming out the pen. If Hendrickson has problems maintaining a fluid pitching motion to begin with, and you bring him into a game where he just can't get it together, if it's a high leverage situation, where he's probably facing a lefty, things just got worse in a hurry as the walks rain down from the heavens. Same with Miller, by the time he may or may not work out his nerves and funkiness, inherited runners are scoring and it's probably a disaster. But, that's just me.
Coach - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#90253) #
In the Sun, Mike Ganter reports that Aquilino wasn't available last night because of "some tightness". As I whined last night, and Carlos Tosca reminded Ganter, O-Dog booted a cinch double play ball when Tam did make his pitch:

"We finally got one and we don't turn it. If we are going to win that type of game, Jeff Tam is going to have to come in and get us a ground ball double play."

You can't have an effective bullpen without a second baseman who can make the routine plays.
robertdudek - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#90254) #
Yes, the ball should have been a DP, but it was hit hard.

Tam could have knocked down the grounder that became a leadoff single, and there is absolutely no excuse for walking 4 straight batters while throwing something like 2 out of 16 pitches (plus 2 intentional balls) for strikes.
_Shane - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#90255) #
Exactly Robert. Those who wish to search for excuses can do so, but facts are facts. Tam did his damage long before a ball was finally put in play, and it's ridiculous to try to wish wash the failed outing away on the eventual play by the second baseman. There is some extreme denial going on. Tam was a man, and didn't sugar coat the embarassing outing. Mike Ganter, Carlos Tosca, and whoever else should do likewise.

It'll be interesting to see some of the game results once these 'terrible twenty' games are over. When the Blue Jays are done playing all the big bad mean teams, and when the weather isn't so chilly. When it's "early yet" doesn't count anylonger, because then it won't be. Of course by then, we'll maybe have all new excuses.
_King Rat - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#90256) #
I think I agree with Robert. Orlando muffed the play, but the real damage had already been done by that point. It's dangerous to extrapolate what happened later onto a changed scenario, but if they turn the DP they're still down 4-3 and at the very least Mirabelli makes it 5-3 even if Miller isn't in the game to walk Nixon. Hudson absolutely has to get better on the balls hit to him, but it wouldn't have made a difference last night.

Benum's point about the lack of utility to an extra bench bat with an bullpen of arsonists is a fair one, but really, I think a bullpen of six guys can blow leads just as efficiently as this one can. If you have seven great relief pitchers, then I can conceive of carrying twelve pitchers, though I don't think it would be worth it even then. If, as the Jays do, you have two or three guys who are good pitchers and an interchangable mass of guys who may or may not be serviceable I can't really see any utility in carrying an extra mediocrity at the expense of your bench.

I don't quite understand the calls to move Walker to the bullpen-over the past year he's been very good in the rotation, which is more than Sturtze or Miller can say. I agree that the bullpen would be vastly improved with him and Hendrickson rather than Linton and Creek, but at what cost to the rotation?

Finally, I have to say that I hope Corey Thurman stays at Syracuse this year getting used to starting again. I get excited thinking about the potential of a Halladay-Arnold-Thurman-Hendrickson/Miller/Walker rotation, and I'd like to keep that a possibility. I'm still optimistic about the future; I'm just hoping the bullpen implosions end soon.
Game 17: Fun in Fenway | 48 comments | Create New Account
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