Thursday, October 18, 2007

Piniero, Playoff schedules, and ALCS Game 5

- Piniero

There's been a lot of excellent discussion about the Piniero signing. Look at the comments for the below post, to start. Other articles to read include Fungoes, the Society of American Baseball Research chapter in St Louis; comments at That's a Winner; and of course Viva El Birdos.

All of it is making me slowly realize my initial thoughts that this is a good signing may be wrong. The problem is I don't know what the right answer for the rotation is. We've been through this. Wainwright and Looper are givens. Reyes? I still he's a good option, but I know his manager/pitching coach don't trust him. Mulder? Carpenter? Thompson? Wellemeyer? Who knows who fills out the rest of the rotation. For a free agent fix, what are our options? Jae Seo?

I guess it's wait and see who declares for free agency time.

- There's a great article at about playoff scheduling and the current malaise affecting MLB. Well worth the read.

- Some comments about the just completed ALCS Game 5:

1. I loved the Beckett/Lofton confrontation. Beckett's a competitor; Lofton is too. Lofton had already admitted to some gamesmanship before his first AB (he homered) against Dice-K, which I'm sure rankled the Red Sox a little. Beckett's 3-0 pitch to him, that he thought was ball four, was clearly a strike. Beckett let him know what he thought after Lofton hit the fly ball. Lofton, of course, didn't back down. That's all good to me. Frankly it's about time a little emotion showed up, since I don't think Manny will get drilled with a fastball (that he richly deserves for showboating, by the way).

2. Speaking of Manny, nice 390' single, slap head. When did he forget to hustle out of the box? All this 'Manny being Manny' excuse spin is horseshit. He should have been hustling, and he shouldn't act like he won the series when he hits a HR while his team trails by 5 runs. It didn't matter; he wouldn't have scored anyway; but come on - you're fighting for your playoff life; you gotta care a little bit.

3. Speaking of the 390' single, exactly why are there 6 umpires on the field again? Oh, yeah - to prevent mistakes like this. The replay clearly showed the top of Sizemore's glove at the bottom of the yellow stripe, and the ball landing above his glove. HOME RUN. Six guys screwed that up. MLB should mandate what was suggested during the division round - make the two umpires down the lines stand further down the lines, like at least half way, so they don't have to run to get into position (and miss a call because their vision is jumping around). I'm not an advocate for replay in baseball, but the umps could have used it tonight. That play was the most egregious error since the Jeffrey Maier 'homer' in 1997.

4. Youkilis' triple in the seventh? All Gutierrez' fault. Yes, Sizemore didn't hustle and the ball glanced off his glove, but realize this: A ball hit by a right handed hitter to right field will ALWAYS slice towards the line. Always. I know this and I play beer league softball now. A Major League outfielder should damn well know this. Gutierrez should have anticipated that ball slicing back to him, and been in position to make the play. Sizemore knew it, and fully expected Gutierrez to play his position correctly. Gutierrez didn't; Sizemore tried to cover; and you saw what you saw.

5. So, assuming Schilling wins on Saturday, who pitches Game 7 for Boston? Leave your thoughts in the comments.


Cardinal70 said...

Matsuzaka, with Wakefield ready at the first sign of trouble.

Really, if the Indians don't win Game 6, I'd be concerned for them. The Cardinals know all about blowing 3-1 leads.

The Angry Rant said...

I would agree - if Cleveland doesn't win on Saturday, they lose the series. Frankly it's amazing they're up 3-2 considering their 2 19-game winners are (combined) 0-2 with a no decision in this series.

Based on Dice's numbers since Aug 10 (6.37 ERA, averaging only 5+ innings per start), and his two starts in the post-season, I don't think he'll start Game 7. I think Wakefield will, with Lester out of the pen first.