Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Still Playing Catch-Up

Yes, that refers to me vice the Cardinals, who caught up last night and beat Milwaukee 4-3. Sounds like it was an exciting game.

I've spent the past 2 weeks moving my family into a new house, so I'm still buried in boxes (although we're opening them feverishly to find the TV remote. How did we live before remotes?). I have a couple of thoughts, although not all of it is Cardinals related.

a. The Post-Dispatch reports today that 'Mulder's not close', and they have no time table for his return. This, unfortunately, is consistent with how his rehab went last year. I think, based on multiple surgeries and his inability to return to the pitcher he was before 2004, that Mark's career may be over. It's a shame to see a guy lose his best years to injury. However, it reminds us all that we need to be realistic about our expectations for this season. What we got now is probably what we got for the long haul; I haven't heard any reports on Clement's rehab, and Carpenter is still targeting July assuming all goes well.

b. Jim Edmonds was interviewed on the local Padres station (XX 1090 if you're in the SD area) last Thursday. Most of it was happy to glads about playing for the Padres, being on the west coast, blah blah blah. But he did say a couple of things I found interesting:

- LaRussa apparently prefers to deploy his CF to cut off doubles, but the starting pitchers like the CF to play shallow and catch those bloop hits. Jimmy, as you well know, prefers to play shallow, and allegedly some of the starters (not named) had to go to Tony to get him to allow Edmonds to play his usual CF (vice backing up). Interesting. I certainly am not a major league caliber outfielder (if I ever was, which according to my one little league coach was NO), but I have noticed (after years of playing beer league softball) that the number of balls hit over your head is not significant compared to the number of balls that land in front of you because you were playing too deep. I can choke off more rallies and prevent more runs by playing up and catching those bloop shots and soft line drives than by playing deep to prevent the extra base hit. Funny that Edmonds and his pitchers prefer to play that way too, and that LaRussa is (again allegedly) adverse to it.

- The other thing he said was he loved playing behind guys like Woody Williams (local interest, former Padre) and Jake Peavy, because those guys tell him, hey, if a ball gets hit over your head, that's my fault, not yours for not catching it. Pretty cool.

b. Matt Vasgersian is the primary play-by-play guy for the Padres on their local channel. Matt is an idiot. Yesterday the Padres got dusted by Houston 10-3. In the fourth, Padre starter Justin Germano was finally yanked after giving up 7 ER and loading the bases (Bourn on third, Tejada on second, Berkman intentionally walked on first) with one out. On comes Wilfredo Ledezma. Now, here's Ledezma's line for the outing:

3 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, SO 2, BB 1.

Pretty good, right? Except that he gave up a first pitch single to Carlos Lee that scored Bourn, threw a wild pitch (missed his target by almost 3 feet) that scored Tejada, and a sacrifice fly to Blum that scored Berkman. So all 3 inherited runners scored, making the score 10-2.

After Ledezma is replaced by Kevin Cameron to start the eighth, Vasgersian the bonehead says "Another great outing by Ledezma." Wow. And Mark Grant (former ML pitcher) agrees with him. I don't think Germano would agree. Padres eventually scored another run, and had two on with one out in the eighth with Edmonds and Greene due; if the score had been 7-3, this game's a lot more interesting. So no, I don't think Ledezma deserves platitudes for his effort.

1 comment:

Cardinal70 said...

There are very few times when a reliever allows an inherited runner to score that you could say they had a "great outing". Of course, when you throw 3 innings after that, the beginning gets wiped out in memory.

I do think it's a bit ominous how little we hear about Clement's rehab.