Friday, June 03, 2005

quick thoughts from tonight

I was at the game tonight and I have to say that it was probably in the top 3 regular season games I have been at in terms of roller coaster of emotions. And there is no doubt in my mind, as if there was before, what a huge Nats fan I have become based on how strong and how often those emotions turned.

Managerially, this game was pretty bad on all sides. But what this game was a great exhibit of is the idea, followed by far too few teams, that you should not save your "closer" for a closing situation. With two outs and bases loaded in the 8th and Majewski being pummelled, I think you HAVE to go to Cordero--what is 4 outs compared to 3?

Then Cox suffers from the same bad call by not bringing in his closer (if they even have one), but worse....I can understand intentionally walking Byrd to load the bases with 1 out. Personally, I wouldn't have done it, but it is an arguable call. But why would you bring in Grybowski to issue that walk? Why wouldn't you let Kolb throw those 4 pitches? I think it is bad enough loading the bases intentionally for a fresh pitcher whom you have no idea if he will be cold, but you exacerbate the problem if the first thing you have the guy do is throw 4 pitches out of the strike zone on purpose. As Bennett stepped to the plate, I said "that's about the surest thing you can do to make your pitcher fall behind in the count." Sure enough, Grybowski quickly went to 2-0 on Bennett. And at 2-1, I said "ok, this is where you pick one pitch and one zone--anything else you let go, but if it is there, you drive the heck out of the ball." I guess Bennett got just what he was looking for and the Nats get the win.

Two small items of note: 1) the Nats are now 11-0 in games at least one member of Nats Blog attends, really approaching statistical significance; 2) Frank got a double switch right, moving Wilkerson to first in the 9th, leaving Church in the outfield and moving the pitcher's spot to fourth.


At 8:33 AM, Blogger Chris Needham said...

The reason he let Grybowski give out the IBB is because of who was on deck.

In most situations Frank would PH for Bennett to bring in the left-handed Schneider.

Had Frank done that, Foster the lefty was ready in the bullpen, and the only way he could come in is if Grybowski had already pitched to one batter.

Frank didn't fall for the lefty trap (which he's done several times before) and recorded human history was changed forever -- or so it seems! :)

At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had the Nats lost this one, the Ump behind the plate should have lost his job. Majewski gave up the single but it looked like he struck out Chipper twice. Chipper is a very dangerous hitter when he gets four strikes. Anyway he gets the stike out and probably continues his streak of scoreless innings. On another note, anybody ever heard of every team in a division being 500 or above in June.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger dexys_midnight said...

I see your point--but since Kolb is a righty, I would think that they would let Kolb throw the IBB and see if Frank put a pinch hitter in to face Kolb--then you could switch pitchers right before the pitch depending on what Frank does. I agree that Frank could THEN decide to PH, but chances are that if he put Bennett up against Kolb, he would leave him in against Grybowski.
So, if I were Cox, I would have done it that way and taken what I view as a slight risk, and less of a risk then asking a cold pitcher to come in and throw four balls intentionally and then not get behind the next batter--plus, don't you think Grybowski was pissed off ("Why the heck do I get a walk charged to me? This is Dan's mess.")?


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