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The path of least resistance
is the dead end of the road
I hate to say I told you so
But hey, I told you so

This was a game that the Blue Jays needed to win.

Wandy Rodriguez came into tonight's game with exactly one major league victory and an ERA of 10.67. That's the sort of thing I like to see from opposing pitchers. Especially when, on Saturday you have to beat the NL's reigning Cy Young champion, the man with the best ERA in the entire National League. And on Sunday, you go up against the man who won more games than any other pitcher in the National League in 2004.

So the Blue Jays rather badly needed Ted Lilly to out-pitch Wandy Rodriguez. Granted the Toronto offense has been sputtering lately. But the Houston Astros are the worst offensive team in baseball. Ted Lilly needs to be able to shut this bunch down, because if he can't, what the hell is he good for?.


My esteemed colleague from the west coast of the U.S.A., Mr John ("Gitz") Gizzi, has been watching Ted Lilly for a long time. His most recent comments came about a month ago, in a comment on one of my own Game Reports, the one in which I lamented that the 2005 Ted Lilly had been worse than the 2004 Pat Hentgen. Which, you know, is about as bad as it gets. To which the Gitz posted:

Uncoachable. Stubborn. Million-dollar-arm, ten-cent head. Etc. None of this is news to A's fans. Reading all the Lilly comments the last few weeks has been like re-living his days on the A's. We feel your pain.

This seems like an appropriate time to review some of the Gitz's Greatest Hits when it comes to the Strange Case of Ted Lilly. We can go all the way back to his Oakland days, from July 2003

... why are you so high on Lilly? Have you seen him? I will offer the least scientific explanation I can give about him, even worse than my anti-Jeremy-Giambi stance: Lilly is a wuss. Plain and simple, he's a wuss. He won't listen to his coaches, either, which I realize is somewhat paraodoxical to his wussiness, but he's vastly overrated.

John expanded these views the very next day

Lilly is exactly the kind of pitcher the Jays don't need. He would fall into the "If things go well, he could be adequate" category, and the Jays are rife with those kinds of arms. He won't eat innings, he's got a (relatively) poor health record, and, apparently, he's something of a head case.... I have not been impressed with Lilly since the A's acquired him, and I hope the Blue Jays don't go after him. The allusion to Lilly being hard-headed re: Rick Peterson may be an indication why Lilly has played on five teams despite being left-handed, talented, and only 26-years-old. That he is talented is not in doubt, as his maddening stretches where he strikes out seven hitters in a row show, but it seems he's another one of those pitchers with a nice K/BB ratio whose success doesn't quite add up. He nibbles too much, he's too deliberate on the mound, he's got no reliable fourth pitch.

Lilly pitched very well down the stretch for Oakland in 2003, after the A's had instituted some fairly extraordinary measures, as John noted in September 2003

Apparently the A's have forbidden him to use his curve ball and to shake off the catcher. This seems an absurd thing to do to a major-league pitcher. Has anybody else heard of something like this?

That off-season, as trade talk between Oakland and Toronto heated up, Gitz had this to say in November 2003

As for Lilly ... the Jays can have him. He will not be missed in Oakland, certainly not by this hack analyst. Mike Moffatt has provided Lilly's career numbers somewhere on this page, but I will not even present that as evidence. In fact, I present zero evidence, though I could dig up some numbers if I wanted. My dislike/distrust of Lilly is based quite a bit on non-measurable assertions, which I repeated so many times in my column that I won't repeat them here.

And finally, after the trade was official, in December 2003

Ted Lilly will be 28-years-old at the start of the 2004 season, and he now is 22-24 in his career -- which has spanned five (six?) teams now -- with an ERA+ of 94. Putting the capricious nature of wins/losses and whatever potential Lilly has aside for the moment, is it fair to say that someone of Lilly's career path is even a worthy fifth starter? Putting aside my personal dislike of Lilly, I think it's a fair assessment. I am truly baffled at how much praise Lilly receives, because, to this point, he hasn't shown much in the majors. At what point does "potential" become "unrealized"? I'll certainly give the Jays a shot to capture Lilly's talent, but I wouldn't expect much.

Sold! I've had enough. Kelvim Escobar was nowhere near as maddening, and there was much more in the way of extenuating circumstances in Kelvim's case. Escobar went from a starter (in the minors) to being a closer, a set-up guy, a starter, a closer, and then a starter again. All this in seven years, in the same organization, although five different managers were involved. It's no wonder Escobar had a little trouble getting his feet on the ground. I don't know what Lilly's excuse is.

Now I'm pretty sure that Rob kind of expects me to crank out a 5000 word Game Report. And while I don't have nearly that much to say about tonight's game, a while back I prepared a little piece called When Pitchers Wield the Lumber as the Jays headed off to play some games by National League rules. And Jobu, that faithful Bauxite, noted conspiracy theorist, and all-around troublemaker posed the following innocent question:

Out of curiosity, does anyone know the total win-loss records for NL vs AL during interleagee?

Guess who decided to find out?

Curiously enough, I couldn't find a convenient one-stop source for my data-gathering needs. I ended up using the extremely useful season logs at Retrosheet. I began with the 1997 Anaheim Angels. I saw that they played 3 NL opponents at home, and that their record added up to 1-7. They played 3 NL opponents on the road, and the records added up to 3-5. I repeated this for all eight seasons from 1997-2004. For 30 teams.

As you can probably imagine, this took a fair bit of time, in the same way that sacking a city takes a fair bit of time. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is apparent that a couple of data entry errors crept into my work. (I couldn't copy and paste, because there were no inter-league totals - I had to visually identify the opponents from the other league, add up the figures myself, and then enter them into the spreadsheet.)

The records of each league, playing opponents only within that league, should balance perfectly. They don't. I have American League teams going 8089-8090 against themselves. The NL error is a little larger: I have the NL at 9234-9228 against themselves. These figures are derived by subtracting their numbers against the other league from their overall numbers (which were also entered manually.) At any rate, there were lots of opportunities for data entry errors to creep into the process. But unless I check all 238 season logs again (and don't hold your breath on that one!), I'm afraid it's the best I have to offer. The errors, I am quite confident, are very small.

So which league wins more often? The National League, but it's very close. I have the NL with a .505 percentage, the AL with a .495 percentage in games against each other. It's a spread of about 10 games, out of almost 2000.

Which team has been most successful playing the other league?

The Oakland A's and the Florida Marlins, ladies and gentlemen. The A's are the best on the level of raw performance - they went 85-55 against the NL during these 8 seasons, a .607 winning percentage. That's the the best overall record against the other league, but they are not the team that raised their overall winning percentage by the greatest amnount. Oakland played at a .540 clip within the American League during these seasons; they improved that performance by .067, which is significant. The Marlins went 77-58 (.570) against the AL, which is the fourth best winning percentage in inter-league play, behind Oakland, the Yankees, and the Atlanta Braves, who were the NL team with the best overall record against the AL. However, in their own league, the Marlins played at a .466 clip. Their increase of .104 is much the largest by any team. By contrast, while the Braves winning percentage of .581 in inter-league play is the best by any NL team, it actually represents a significant decline in performance; the Braves were a .615 team when they were playing other National League teams.

The home team wins more often in baseball. All but one major league team had a better home record than road record during this period (the exception? Cincinnati.) Home field is a slightly bigger deal in the National League. During these 8 seasons, in games involving only NL teams, the home team's percentage was .537; in the American League, the home team's winning percentage was .530.

In inter-league play, we see a similar pattern raised up a little bit. In games played in NL parks, the home team's winning percentage was .557; in the AL parks, the home team's winning percentage was .543.

American League teams

Oakland kicked the crap out of the NL when they were the home team. They played .500 ball when they visited NL parks; but in their own house, they were dynamite, going 51-19, a .729 clip. They played .585 ball when they were at home to other AL teams, which was the second best figure in the AL during these years. The Yankees played .634 ball when they were at home to AL teams, and .671 ball when they were at home to NL teams.

A number of AL teams did not enjoy themselves when guys from the other league came to town. Four teams - Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Detrot, and Baltimore - actually played below .500 in their home games against the other league. Now as it happens, these teams had the four worst records in the American League during this period - they also played below .500 in their home games against their own league. The three other AL teams who were below .500 overall for these seasons all managed to play .500 ball at home, against both leagues.

Baltimore and Boston are noteworthy for having the biggest drop-off in home field percentage when the other league came to call. The Red Sox played .581 ball in Fenway against the AL, but just .521 against the NL. And the Orioles played .493 at Camden Yards against the AL, and just .437 at home against the NL.

The Yankees were the only AL team with a winning record in NL parks - I have them at 33-32 (.508) while Anaheim was at an even .500 (35-35). Anaheim played .477 ball on the road when they visited AL parks - they were one of three AL teams with a better winning percentage on the road in NL parks than on the road in AL parks. The others were Tampa Bay and Detroit, two terrible teams who played roughly .370 on the road in the AL, and about .410 on the road in the NL.

The largest home-road split in the AL over this period has been posted by the Texas Rangers. Texas played .550 ball in Arlington, just .431 ball on the road during these seasons, a split of .119. That split is larger in their own league - they were .123 better at home against AL opponents, .086 better at home against NL opponents. Oakland has the second largest home-field advantage during these seasons, being .106 better at home overall, and .089 better at home against the AL. Oakland has by the biggest home-field advantage in the AL during inter-league play, however, playing .243 better at home than in NL parks. The other teams that enjoyed a significant home-field advantage against the other league were the Yankees (.164 better at home) and the Blue Jays (.152 better at home).

Anaheim and Kansas City essentially had no home-field advantage in inter-league play, posting roughly the same record both home and away. The AL teams with the smallest home-field advantages - i.e. the teams whose records showed the smallest improvement at home during these seasons - were Kansas City, Baltimore, and Boston. While KC's home advantage against the NL basically shrunk out of existence, both Baltimore and, especially Boston, increased their home-field advantage when the NL came to town. Boston, for example was a .554 team during these years - that's .574 at Fenway and .533 on the road, a very small split. Against the NL, they didn't play nearly as well overall - they were a losing team, playing .468 ball. But that broke down as .521 at home, and just .412 on the road.

National League teams

While the St Louis Cardinals posted the best home record against AL teams, going a pretty nifty 39-20 (.661), they were a pretty good home team all along. They played .585 ball at home against the National League. But the late, lamented Montreal Expos were happy to see the AL come to town. Les Expos lost more games than they won (.489) with the last at bat when another NL team came to call. But they whipped AL visitors at a .632 clip, the biggest performance increase of any NL team.

The Atlanta Braves were by far the NL's best team during these years: they had both the best overall home and road records. They played .646 ball at home when other NL teams came to call. On the road, they played .583 ball, which is better than almost every NL team's home record, with the sole exception of San Francisco. But when the AL came to town... something went wrong. The Braves managed just a 33-32 (.508) mark, by far the biggest drop off of any major league team.

The Braves made up for it when they visited the AL parks, however. The Braves went 46-25 when they visited AL parks, a fairly phenomenal .648 clip. That was by far the best performance by any road team in inter-league play - only a handful of teams were able to rise above .500, never mind .600. Nevertheless, the Braves performance increase visiting AL teams as opposed to visiting NL teams was not the largest in the league. As noted, the Braves have been a great road team all along - it's hard to improve a whole lot on .585, although the Braves did about as well as one could ask. The Braves performance paralells that of the Arizona Diamondbacks, albeit at a much higher level. The D'Backs improved their road performance by a similar amount, going from .461 against the NL, to playing .525 ball against AL teams. And both Atlanta and Arizona fall short of the mark posted by the Marlins. Florida was pretty bad visiting NL teams, playing .405 ball - but when they went to play in AL parks, they were suddenly a decent (.507) team.

The Colorado Rockies have the biggest home-field advantage in baseball, although it's quite possible that what really happens is that playing their home games at high altitude has given them a larger road disadvantage than a true home advantage. It remains a difficult situation to get a handle on. At any rate, the Rockies played .542 ball at Coors during these seasons, and just .387 when forced to compete at sea level. This enormous (.165) spread actually doubled during inter-league play. The Rockies played .589 at home against AL teams; but when visiting AL parks, they were an utterly pathetic .250 team (14-42), by far the worst mark of any team in any split, anyway, anyhow, anywhere. Florida was the only NL team whose normal home-road split remotely compares to Colorado, and it doesn't matter which league the Marlins are playing against. The Marlins were .124 better at home against the NL and .125 better at home against the AL. They just play a whole lot better against the AL, both home and away. But several other NL teams significantly increased their home-field advantages during inter-league play, most notably the Expos.

All right, I might as well append the tables with all the raw (albeit flawed!) data. I fully expect someone to post and point me to a convenient one-stop spot where I could have copied and pasted this much more conveniently. Until then, make of this what you can. The flies in the ointment: Milwaukee played in the AL in 1997, in the NL ever since 1998, which was also when Arizona and Tampa Bay joined the party.

                   HOME GAMES             ROAD GAMES               ALL GAMES
	          W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.

Oakland	        51	19	0.729	34	36	0.486	85	55	0.607
NY Yankees	47	23	0.671	33	32	0.508	80	55	0.593
Milwaukee	 5	 1	0.833	 3	 6	0.333	 8	 7	0.533
White Sox	42	26	0.618	32	39	0.451	74	65	0.532
Seattle	        40	30	0.571	34	36	0.486	74	66	0.529
Minnesota	39	29	0.574	32	38	0.457	71	67	0.514
Anaheim	        36	34	0.514	35	35	0.500	71	69	0.507
Cleveland	35	33	0.515	35	36	0.493	70	69	0.504
Toronto	        39	32	0.549	27	41	0.397	66	73	0.475
Texas	        36	34	0.514	30	40	0.429	66	74	0.471
Boston	        37	34	0.521	28	40	0.412	65	74	0.468
Detroit	        34	37	0.479	28	40	0.412	62	77	0.446
Tampa Bay	28	32	0.467	24	38	0.387	52	70	0.426
Kansas City	28	40	0.412	29	42	0.408	57	82	0.410
Baltimore	31	40	0.437	25	43	0.368	56	83	0.403

	         W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.

St. Louis	39	20	0.661	24	32	0.429	63	52	0.548
San Francisco	38	20	0.655	31	33	0.484	69	53	0.566
NY Mets	        42	23	0.646	30	41	0.423	72	64	0.529
Florida	        43	25	0.632	34	33	0.507	77	58	0.570
Montreal	43	25	0.632	26	45	0.366	69	70	0.496
Los Angeles	39	25	0.609	28	33	0.459	67	58	0.536
Chicago Cubs	35	24	0.593	26	31	0.456	61	55	0.526
Colorado	33	23	0.589	14	42	0.250	47	65	0.420
Houston	        34	25	0.576	30	27	0.526	64	52	0.552
San Diego	33	31	0.516	27	37	0.422	60	68	0.469
Atlanta	        33	32	0.508	46	25	0.648	79	57	0.581
Philadelphia	33	35	0.485	33	35	0.485	66	70	0.485
Pittsburgh	27	29	0.482	17	36	0.321	44	65	0.404
Cincinnati	25	31	0.446	23	30	0.434	48	61	0.440
Arizona	        23	30	0.434	30	27	0.526	53	57	0.482
Milwaukee NL	19	31	0.380	23	24	0.489	42	55	0.433

                   HOME GAMES             ROAD GAMES               ALL GAMES
	         W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.

Oakland	        338	240	0.585	286	291	0.496	624	531	0.540
NY Yankees	364	210	0.634	351	232	0.602	715	442	0.618
Milwaukee	 42	 32	0.568	 28	 44	0.389	 70	 76	0.479
White Sox	321	258	0.554	268	308	0.465	589	566	0.510
Seattle	        330	249	0.570	297	279	0.516	627	528	0.543
Minnesota	296	284	0.510	264	311	0.459	560	595	0.485
Anaheim	        318	263	0.547	275	301	0.477	593	564	0.513
Cleveland	315	264	0.544	290	286	0.503	605	550	0.524
Toronto	        302	276	0.522	274	305	0.473	576	581	0.498
Texas	        321	258	0.554	249	328	0.432	570	586	0.493
Boston	        335	242	0.581	317	262	0.547	652	504	0.564
Detroit	        252	324	0.438	214	365	0.370	466	689	0.403
Tampa Bay	218	287	0.432	181	323	0.359	399	610	0.395
Kansas City	254	321	0.442	237	342	0.409	491	663	0.425
Baltimore	284	292	0.493	268	313	0.461	552	605	0.477

	        W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.

St. Louis	345	245	0.585	298	292	0.505	643	537	0.545
San Francisco	366	225	0.619	303	279	0.521	669	504	0.570
NY Mets	        313	269	0.538	276	301	0.478	589	570	0.508
Florida	        305	272	0.529	236	347	0.405	541	619	0.466
Montreal	283	296	0.489	227	351	0.393	510	647	0.441
Los Angeles	322	262	0.551	301	286	0.513	623	548	0.532
Chicago Cubs	303	288	0.513	258	332	0.437	561	620	0.475
Colorado	318	274	0.537	237	355	0.400	555	629	0.469
Houston	        343	247	0.581	304	286	0.515	647	533	0.548
San Diego	300	284	0.514	260	324	0.445	560	608	0.479
Atlanta	        376	206	0.646	336	240	0.583	712	446	0.615
Philadelphia	298	281	0.515	259	321	0.447	557	602	0.481
Pittsburgh	292	298	0.495	240	355	0.403	532	653	0.449
Cincinnati	282	311	0.476	293	302	0.492	575	613	0.484
Arizona	        287	227	0.558	235	275	0.461	522	502	0.510
Milwaukee NL	227	289	0.440	211	308	0.407	438	597	0.423

                   HOME GAMES             ROAD GAMES               ALL GAMES
    	          W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.

Oakland	        389	259	0.600	320	327	0.495	709	586	0.547
NY Yankees	411	233	0.638	384	264	0.593	795	497	0.615
Milwaukee	 47	 33	0.588	 31	 50	0.383	 78	 83	0.484
White Sox	363	284	0.561	300	347	0.464	663	631	0.512
Seattle	        370	279	0.570	331	315	0.512	701	594	0.541
Minnesota	335	313	0.517	296	349	0.459	631	662	0.488
Anaheim	        354	297	0.544	310	336	0.480	664	633	0.512
Cleveland	350	297	0.541	325	322	0.502	675	619	0.522
Toronto	        341	308	0.525	301	346	0.465	642	654	0.495
Texas	        357	292	0.550	279	368	0.431	636	660	0.491
Boston	        372	276	0.574	345	302	0.533	717	578	0.554
Detroit	        286	361	0.442	242	405	0.374	528	766	0.408
Tampa Bay	246	319	0.435	205	361	0.362	451	680	0.399
Kansas City	282	361	0.439	266	384	0.409	548	745	0.424
Baltimore	315	332	0.487	293	356	0.451	608	688	0.469

	         W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.

St. Louis	384	265	0.592	322	324	0.498	706	589	0.545
San Francisco	404	245	0.622	334	312	0.517	738	557	0.570
NY Mets	        355	292	0.549	306	342	0.472	661	634	0.510
Florida	        348	297	0.540	270	380	0.415	618	677	0.477
Montreal	326	321	0.504	253	396	0.390	579	717	0.447
Los Angeles	361	287	0.557	329	319	0.508	690	606	0.532
Chicago Cubs	338	312	0.520	284	363	0.439	622	675	0.480
Colorado	351	297	0.542	251	397	0.387	602	694	0.465
Houston	        377	272	0.581	334	313	0.516	711	585	0.549
San Diego	333	315	0.514	287	361	0.443	620	676	0.478
Atlanta	        409	238	0.632	382	265	0.590	791	503	0.611
Philadelphia	331	316	0.512	292	356	0.451	623	672	0.481
Pittsburgh	319	327	0.494	257	391	0.397	576	718	0.445
Cincinnati	307	342	0.473	316	332	0.488	623	674	0.480
Arizona	        310	257	0.547	265	302	0.467	575	559	0.507
Milwaukee NL	246	320	0.435	234	332	0.413	480	652	0.424
How's that, Rob!?
Tired of Ted | 17 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Paul D - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#119384) #
Magpie, I am also getting tired of Ted Lilly, but I place the blame for yesterday's loss on the hitters. You can't squander that many opportunities, even if you pitcher is a *****.

Also, off-topic, but this craig's list posting might be of interest to some. (It's on craig's list Toronto, website looking for people to write about sports)
Mike Green - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#119386) #
Nothing on Ted Lilly's hometown, or his minor public school humiliations, Magpie? Frankly, I'm a little disappointed.:)

Lilly is an average pitcher. Expecting more from him is frustrating and unproductive. At this point, the Jays ought to ignore his contract and ignore his history and make a simple decision, in what way can he best regain his usual form? If it be the bullpen, then so be it. If it be continuing to start, that too would be fine.

Dave Till - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#119389) #
I'm not a huge fan of Lilly, but I'm more worried about the bats than about the pitching. Lilly's outing last night looked like a Josh Towers line: good control, low strikeouts, lots of home runs.

This month, the Jays have scored 27 runs in 9 games, which is dead last in the American League. (The Yankees are second-last.) Only Roy Halladay can consistently win with only three runs of support, and he's arguably the best pitcher on the planet. Blaming Lilly or anyone else for not being able to go out there and allow only one run is a bit harsh.
The Bone - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#119390) #
Blue Jays OPS by players not named Catalanotto or Wells in June: .492

Needless to say, it doesn't get any easier tonight
JayFan0912 - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#119391) #
The problem with lilly isn't that he gave up those 4 runs, it was the consistent hard contact hitters made with his fastball and curveball. All sorts of balls made their way to 5 ft off the fences. His curveball seems sorta straight, and I think this is the cause of his problems. Perhaps he is hiding an injury/pain that restricts movement ...

I think the offence is the greater concern. Against a 10.64 ERA pitcher, they managed to score only twice in 6 innings, and it seemed to me like bad situational hitting. Taking long hacks at fastballs, and swinging at rodriguez's changeup was pretty irritating. Menechino at 2B didn't help either.
Stellers Jay - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#119392) #
I think you leave him in the rotation and *hope* that he strings 3 or 4 good starts together in the next month and that a contender shows some interest in a Lilly and (Gross)package for a young hitter.

(substitute Gross for another prospect of your choice, it was just an example).

Dr. Zarco - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#119393) #

Menechino at 2B didn't help either.

This, and Johnny Mac at SS, irritated me more than anything over the last 4 games. Russ Adams and Orlando have started exactly ONE time in those four games. If the Jays were facing Randy Johnson and Mark Mulder, fine. But the lefties they were facing are AAA pitchers who happen to chuck the rock with their left extremity. John Koronka and Wandy Rodriguez are too intimidating for Hudson and Adams!??! I'm giving Gibbons a pass on sitting them for Glendon Rusch too. Adams and Hudson are the everyday players. This is not a platoon, and SHOULD not be a platoon. Extremely annoying. The Jays are not even losing with their best on the field (although they won with the Menechino/Mac combo Mon/Tue). I want to see Orlando get one off day/2-3 weeks, and Russ get 1/week.

BallGuy - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#119394) #
The thing I find most frustrating with Lilly is that he says that even though he gave up the 4 home runs, he got away with even more bad pitches.
Wow. Lucky you I guess.
Ok Ted. Nice self analysis. Now how about some action? It's fine for you to say that you pitched poorly but let's see you try to pull it all together. One way to do that might be to listen to your pitching coach; whatever it is you are doing on your own isn't working.
It might be time for a message move. Send Lilly down (if possible) and reward Walker by letting him start.
Hey, Bush pitched well in Syracuse last night...another couple of good starts and he'll be ready to come back.
westcoast dude - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#119395) #
Dr. Zarco, looking at the boxscore, my only contact with the game, you are right. Johnny Mack cost us the win, but JG blew the lineup. Hill was 1 for 2 with 2 walks--they pitched around him knowing he would die on base. He should be lead off or #2.
Sherrystar - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#119396) #
Menechino is a joke... this years version of Dave Berg! The guy can't even hit .200!!!

But does it matter? It's not like the Jays are going anywhere with this pathetic offence!

Frustrating to say the least!
Fawaz - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#119398) #
I was going to post my thoughts last night, but my visions of dancing Toscas told me they were perhaps more emotional than rational. I was also a little irked at the management of the 7th inning and I wanted to clear that out of my system before saying anything.

On the day after, I'm glad that I'm not the only one gobsmacked by Gibby's line-ups this week. I don't know if NL ball is messing with his head, he wants to impress Tabler more by keeping his bench 'fresh' or John McDonald has convinced him that his utility infielders are silver sluggers.

Obviously, this team was not gifted with offensive ability from the start, and losing Corey Koskie may have Gibbons thinking more about match-ups just to maximize what little offensive potential currently exists.

I just hope this doesn't continue. If Hill does replace Menechino and steals some ABs from McDonald when Koskie comes back, the offence looks much improved with Wells back on track and we can forget about this Bergian episode of the 2005 season.
Andrew K - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#119399) #
I quite agree about Adams and Hudson. Menechino was great last year, but apparently it was a flash in the pan. A rookie lefty is the perfect opportunity to give Adams a chance to become a regular non-platoon player, and they missed it.

Adams' value will only be lower if they typecast him as a platoon-only player. What are they thinking? I desperately, desperately hope that they don't end up giving MacDonald a huge proportion of playing time -- I love the guy, but for the sake of the team he must sit. See Woodward, Chris.
Rob - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#119401) #
Alan Schwarz is on the FAN with Bill Hayes right now, for anyone interested in Schwarz before he comes to town next weekend.
Maldoff - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#119402) #
To be fair to Johnny Mac, I don't really believe that he was the reason for the sputtering offense last night. I actually think the two biggest culprits were Menechino and Hillenbrand.

After "The Hustle's" quick start, he has really tailed off, which was expected. Last night, though, he grounded into a DP, and left 2 runners on base.

As for Menechino, he just blew most of the night, and you're right, they seemed to be pitching around Hill to get to him. The Jays seem to be giving away 3 outs each time through the order with the pitcher, Menechino and McDonald.

Finally, Gibby should know by now that O-Dawg is probably the streakiest batter on the planet, and that if you just leave him be, he'll get back on track. There is no need to be taking him out of the lineup.
Ron - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#119403) #
Unless Gibby does a 180, you will still see Lilly in the rotation.

About 2-3 weeks ago when Lilly was really scuffling, Gibby said he would have entertained the thought of moving Lilly to the bullpen if it wasn't for his salary.
Maldoff - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#119404) #
Oh, and I don't mind Lilly's home runs given up, as we all know he is a flyball pitcher. Houston is one heck of a home run park, too. But at least they were solo shots....
Keith Talent - Saturday, June 11 2005 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#119416) #

The thing I find most frustrating with Lilly is that he says that even though he gave up the 4 home runs, he got away with even more bad pitches. Wow. Lucky you I guess. Ok Ted. Nice self analysis. Now how about some action? It's fine for you to say that you pitched poorly but let's see you try to pull it all together.

Hey BallGuy, I saw this comment as addressing one of the stupidest cliches baseball analysts use: "Ted Lilly made only 3 mistakes the entire game"... the phrase assualts me daily. In reality:

- Hitters hit good pitches, not all home runs are "mistakes"

- Pitchers make mistakes all the time, and the batters probably punish about 35% of the time

Another cliche that's right up there is "he hung" a pitch. Are these guys who pass on the highlights really watching the pitch that closely? I believe are they merely looking at the batted trajectory towards the seats, marvelling: "the pitcher really hung that one".

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