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Save and Sane
2003-07-14 08:49
by Jon Weisman

Andrew Baggarly of the Riverside Press-Enterprise had two interesting notes today.

The first note was that both Paul Quantrill and Tom Martin each appeared in their sixth consecutive game Sunday, something that no major-league pitcher did last season.

It wasn't exactly punishing work for Quantrill (74 pitches) and Martin (61 pitches), so I wouldn't make too big a deal out of the exertion, especially with the All-Star break beginning today.

At the same time, that looming All-Star break should have made the Dodgers more liberal with their use of the well-rested Eric Gagne. With the bases loaded and one out in an eighth-inning tie Friday in Colorado, Gagne should have been brought in to pitch instead of Quantrill.

Yes, Canada's other pride did throw a borderline 3-2 pitch that could have gotten him the strikeout he needed, instead of the walk he abhorred, but I still would have gone with someone less likely to go to 3-2 in the first place and someone more likely to blow two batters away in a tie game.

And please, don't give me that nonsense about it not being a save situation again. Tie or not, that was the biggest save situation of the game.

Essentially, to go into Colorado on a Friday, knowing that your best pitcher will not be pitching Monday or Wednesday at a minimum, and only use him for one inning, is a waste - one that might have cost the Dodgers a game.

The second note was this: although March hope Joe Thurston has been making progress at the plate, he is a remarkable 0 for 10 in stolen base attempts this season. Thurston's OPS at Las Vegas, I might add, is still an unremarkable .718.

Baggarly writes, "Though GM Dan Evans said that several teams inquired about Thurston last year, the Dodgers couldn't give away the second baseman now." I don't believe that literally, but the sentiment is understood.

Joey Ballgame and David Eckstein are struggling. It's a rough year for Team Moxie.

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