The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Jason Motte’

Can you hear me now?

Posted by keithosaunders on October 26, 2011

Hey Tony, how about another pitching change?

Game five of the World Series was one of the more bizarre and exciting games I have seen for some time.  This entire Series has been a delight, and so far it has gone the way I wanted it to, with Texas in front of a long, hard-fought contest.  It was the first time since 2003 that the Series had been knotted at two — there have been six game series, but only after 3-1 leads in games.  The Series hasn’t gone to a seventh game since 2002. 

I hadn’t realized how universally disliked LaRussa was, but now that his over managing is front and center, the press and media have been all over him.  One podcast host stated that, “LaRussa came to manage in game 5.” 

And manage he did.  He managed to blow the game, that’s for sure.  First of all he had his ace on the mound, Chris Carpenter.   Of course he was removed once the magic 100 pitch mark was reached, and in came Octavio Dotel bearing gasoline.  If that’s not enough, with first base open he has Dotel walk Nelson Cruz.  What is Dotel in the game for if not to get righties out! 

Then we entered the twilight zone.  LaRussa removed Dotel from the game and out from the bulpen came Mr Scrabble, Marc Rzepczynski.  What the?!  A left-hander in to face consecutive righties, one of whom, Mike Napoli,  is the Series hottest hitter.  I sat there dumbfounded as Buck and McCarver, shills that they are, explained that LaRussa sometimes uses Rzepczynski to get righties out. 

One single and a gap double later the score was 4-2 Rangers.  But LaRussa wasn’t done.  He removed Rzepczynski from the game and replaced him with… Lance Lynn!  He had Lynn intentionally walk Kinsler and then…took him out of the game!   At the time I was thinking, LaRussa is out of control — why not have Rzepczynski issue the walk and then change pitchers?

Of course, later on we would discover the reason:  The bullpen phone didn’t work and LaRussa’s pitching coach had the wrong pitcher warming up.  Right…and Paul McCartney died in 1966. 

I don’t believe this cock and bull story for one second.  Before the game LaRussa had announced that Lynn, who had thrown 47 pitches the previous night, was unavailable for work.  Let’s assume for a moment that the bullpen coach misheard LaRussa.  Why wouldn’t he have questioned the move?  Not only that, Lynn sounds nothing like Motte, who was the pitcher that LaRussa said he wanted all along.  Might I suggest a simple text message for future moves?

Let’s face it, LaRussa simply wants to put his stamp on the game at any cost.  He’s not happy unless he is making moves.  At this point it appears his over-managing is costing the Cardinals a Worlds Series.  You can make the case that LaRussa, at this point, is responsible for at least two losses:  games two and five.

Finally, this little tidbit I heard on the radio.  One of the hosts of Slate’s Hang Up and Listen podcast attended game six of the 1977 World Series, the one in which Reggie Jackson hit three home runs. (a game also attended by my best friend, and sometimes guest-blogger, Jeff Mazzei)  The time of that game was two hours and seven minutes.  Amount of pitching changes:  three; all by the Dodgers.

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Cards v Rangers getting great ratings in the East Bay

Posted by keithosaunders on October 22, 2011

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but my son and I are tuning in.[Maxwell Smart voice]  And…loving it! 

Game two was actually tied 1-1 for a few minutes in the ninth inning.  I almost got my wish of a long extra inning game — Nick Punto was even in the lineup.  For those of you who didn’t read my prediction a few posts back, I’m waiting for LaRussa to burn through his entire staff during a long extra inning game.  He actually was down to his last position player last night.  He even took Yadier Molina out for a pinch runner.  What a tool.

Finally, on Thursday night, LaRussa’s over-managing caught up with him.  He has his fireballing closer — Jason Motte — on in the 9th throwing seeds and he takes him out for Arthur Rhodes, an aging, journeyman contact pitcher.  You’d think he would have at least gone to Octavio Dotel at that point, but he didn’t, and two sac flies later the Rangers were up for good, 2-1.

Ron Washington is not much better, he’s just more likable.  How the hell do you remove Colby Lewis from that game.  I’m sure his pitch count was well below 100, and even if it wasn’t, Lewis has shown himself to be a big game pitcher.  I would rather have him out there than Alexi Ogando, who is rapidly turning into this year’s version of Byung-Hyun Kim.

My fear is that since LaRussa and Washington have, for the most part, gotten away with their revolving door style of pitcher management, that other major league managers will begin to copy their style next season pushing the average time of game to four hours. 

But enough nitpicking.  This has been an incredible start to the Series and I could not be enjoying it more.  Well…I guess I could if the Mets were up 2-0. 

What happened?  I was delusional.  Now where was I?  Oh yeah…there has been great pitching, stellar defense, and some clutch base stealing as well.  All of this may yet take away some of the sting of having to suffer through Buck and McCarver.

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