Sunday, April 7, 2013

Games 4 and 5

A quick update on our 4th and 5th games.  Our advance scouting department doesn’t do a very good job.  I am shocked at how certain players dominate against us yet other teams can get them out (even if they have weaker pitching than we do).  Somebody isn’t doing their job!  Of course, it could just be bad pitches, but game 4 was lost in one key spot.  The Yankees held on to a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the 5th,  Nova had retired 6 in a row and was getting into a bit of a groove after really struggling early on with control.  He allowed a fairly weak single and then walked Austin Jackson before getting a DP.  Now we have Cabrera up (who we obviously don’t have a clue how to pitch) and Nova came inside and hit his hand.  I didn’t have any issues with this as he made sure it was inside as he should.  So with 1st and 3rd and the lefty fielder coming up, Girardi made the key decision in the game…go to the only lefty in the pen (who is not a specialist although better against lefties).  The advance scouting department, as everyone else knows, should say throw something off speed and out of the strike zone to Fielder on the 1st pitch because he hacks at the first pitch most of the time.  Instead we throw a fastball (a high one) that he gets on top of for a 3 run homer and the game is over at that point.  Nova was one out away form grabbing himself a possible win and while I don’t advocate managing by this type of formula, I do think that showing some confidence in your pitcher and giving him a chance for the win and building some confidence is a good idea early in the year and also when the other decision is not a no brainer.  I would have stuck with Nova understanding the risks.  Girardi made a choice that didn’t work out…not saying it was a terrible decision, but it proved to be a bad one.

5th game.   I have documented how bad our 3rd base coach is over the past two years!  We must get more guys thrown out at home with no or 1 out than any team in baseball and how Robby Thompson simply has bad judgment and his attitude of saying "I am going to stay aggressive no matter" just drives me crazy.  the situation has to matter what.  Anyway, Brennen Boesch tripled and then after a shallow fly by Cervelli, Boesch got thrown out at home with one out!  This drives me crazy and Girardi deserves a lot of criticism for keeping Thompson there after his first terrible year.

Another huge play in the game came in the top of the 6th.  We were down 5-1 and after a 3 walks and a single we had bases loaded nobody out and the score is 5-2.  Brennen Boesch is up and he rips a line drive down the first base line and Vernon Wells makes a rookie mistake by first starting to run toward second base, yet he still almost had time to get back to the bag before being doubled off, but he couldn’t beat Fielder to the bag.  The ump actually called him safe, but even Wells started to get up and go to the dugout as if he were out.  The umps got together and ruled him out.  First, terrible play by Wells and then, second, wait for the darn call and act as if you are safe so that the issue couldn’t be “reviewed.”  I mean how many times do you see an umps call, even a bad one get overturned, especially a judgment call?  This was a key point in the game and while Overbay did get a huge 2 out hit knocking in 2 guys, it killed a huge rally opportunity (and it was a tough break that the liner was right at Fielder).

In general, our pitching has been terrible and it needs to be much better for us to hang in there with the limitations on offense.  We have allowed 33 runs in 5 games…no other team in baseball has allowed as many runs as we have this year…nobody!

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