Kip Wells. The Jason Marquis of 2007.
Initially I thought his troubles were simply due to the Cardinals not scoring any runs. I got to watch him lose to the Padres 7-0 in person, and although he didn't pitch particularly well, that fact was masked by Jake Peavy throttling the Cardinals as he allowed 3 hits through 7 innings of work.
However during Saturday's rain delayed 'Game of the Week' (how can the game of the week include a team that's 7 games under .500? Wouldn't Indians/Tigers have been a better choice?), I got to watch Kip dissolve in Houston. Here's the abridged play-by-play for the bottom of the 5th, in case you missed it:
- Has Brunson 1-2, hangs a slider. Brunson's first hit of the year.
- Hangs a slider to Everett. Single in the left-center gap. First and Third.
- Over-runs Sampson's sacrifice bunt for an error. Bases loaded.
- Hangs slider to Biggio, who hits it right at Spiezio at third. Brunson forced at home. Bases remain loaded, one out.
- Pence lines high fastball off wall in right for double. Two runs in, second and third.
- Infield back, Berkman grounds to second. Sampson scores, two out, runner at third.
- Lee walked (unintentional intentional walk).
- Loretta grounds to second.
See the trend? Give Wells a mulligan on the muffed sac bunt. That could happen to anybody, although a major leaguer should make that play 100 times out of 100. But his problem is execution. Way too much of the plate 1-2 to start the inning. Hanging breaking stuff gets hammered at this level. Wells' problem is execution, plain and simple. He's gotta execute, or he's going to be the first 20-game loser in a long time for St. Louis.
Or perhaps La Russa will send him down.
And perhaps giving him #21 wasn't the greatest equipment managing decision of all time.
On another note, I thoroughly enjoyed McCarver blasting A-Fraud for bungling a play in New York's nightmare of a seventh inning Saturday. With runners at first and second, and the ball hit to the outfield, A Rod should have stayed at the bag. Pitcher backs up home, and the first baseman becomes the cut off man in the center of the diamond. This is so basic even I know it.
No wonder the Yankees suck this year - fundamentally, they're not very sound.
Rotisserie update later this week. Suffice to say I have a sizeable lead in the league, and don't want to jinx it.
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