Derek and the Domino Effect
Date: Sunday, July 29, 2001
From: Kevin Hench
Subject: Derek and the Domino Effect
There will be some Offy-bashing, perhaps a little Lowe-bashing (the hitters
are, why not me?) and maybe a dash of Jimy-bashing in the early going here,
but I promise to close on a positive note after a big win.
Well, some have been busting my chops all season, telling me I need to be
getting these stats to someone... anyone. He finally just went ahead and
took it upon himself to get that essential info out there, and damn if ol'
Gordo Edes didn't jump on it and add some of his own. I am so happy. Just
knowing we are not alone in our contempt of Awfulman is comforting. And,
yes, I do remember the two errors he made in that ninth inning against the
Phillies when he was with the Dodgers... one of the four years he led the NL
Awfulman broke his 54 at-bat streak by drawing a walk in the bottom of the
eighth. For a guy with minimal pop, he sure swings at a lot of 2-0 and 3-1
pitches. Did I mention how much this guy kills your team in the lead-off
spot? In a parallel universe there are leadoff hitters who sometimes go
3-for-4 with a walk or even 4-for-5. With this guy, it's oh-fer or one-fer
We had two different guys make baserunning mistakes on the same play, but the
Jays bailed us out. Offerman foolishly ran through Lamont's stop sign -
trying to get thrown out at the plate for the second time in the series - but
Stewart inexplicably threw the ball to the shortstop from shallow left.
Gonzalez spun and fired high to the plate, saving Offerman six pages of
vitriol from me (he'll only get two paragraphs tonight). Not to be outdone,
Mike Lansing belatedly thought he'd try for second. He was out by three
Guapos. As for Awfulman (who was once a fleet baserunner, as hard as that is
to believe), it defeats the purpose of firing Wendell Kim if guys are going
to run through Lamont. Imagine if Gonzalez's throw had been on the money to
the plate and Lansing had been doubled up at second. My furniture would have
been in great peril. In the AP article, Offerman explained his curious
decision by giving the boilerplate "good things happen when you try to take
the extra base." Really? Interesting take on the season, Offy.
Derek Lowe, this is my friend 1-2-3 Inning, I don't believe you've met.
Actually Derek redefined 1-2-3 inning tonight by allowing 1-2-3 hits and
getting yanked. With each shaky outing he gets a little worse. Derek and
the Domino Effect? Hitters do seem torn, however, as to whether to rip his
hanger to the opposite field or pull it into the screen. As you guys
probably surmised, I was really freaking out in the ninth tonight. I did not
have a contingency plan for when we lost this game. As it is, the hope in
this space has to be that tonight's performance will force Duke's hand. Any
ideas on what the holdup is with Urbina? Other than the fact that we have
nothing to offer. Casey Fossum? That would pretty much empty the cupboard.
Now, Jimy.... seriously, buddy... what's going on? We score two in the
bottom of the eighth and you've got a pitching change during which to get
Pichardo up (if, that is, you insist on not ever letting Guapo pitch two
innings). We all know how Lowe has struggled lately and how much he has
struggled in non-save situations. And by "all," I mean everybody but Jimy, of
course. Luckily, the offense has come up with two to push the lead to four
and a non-save situations, so you can give your closer (cough, cough) the
night off and not have to trot him out there three straight nights and four
of five. Jimy? Jimy? Why is Pichardo not warming? He only pitched a third
of an inning last night. Why is Derek Lowe coming into a non-save situation?
Could it be true that Don Zimmer has more baseball knowledge in that plate
in his head than you have in your whole cerebral cortex. Cerebral cortex?
Aha! I knew there was something missing with this guy. "Hey, they're still
in it! No other manager..." Blah, blah, blah. The guy is a moron.
Assuming it takes a guy a lot longer to rehab all the way back to
seven-inning shape than two-inning shape, could the Duke's reticence on the
Urbina front be a clue as to how Pedro might be featured down the stretch?
Would it be better to have Pedro for six starts in September or for regular
relief duty starting Aug. 15? Just thinking out loud, but with Castillo and
Sabes coming back and the Arrojo renaissance, it would seem the more glaring
deficiencies are in the pen.
Oh, big win tonight.