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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Bummer for the Bums
2006-04-30 17:06
by Jon Weisman

With a 5-0 lead in the ninth inning, Dodger relievers got four outs while allowing four hits and five walks, and the most improbable location for a hometown rally produced a 6-5 Padres victory.

The Dodgers' problems may have started when Derek Lowe stumbled on the mound during a pitch. Though he completed six shutout innings, it's possible his exit came sooner than it would have otherwise.

Franquelis Osoria, continuing his resurgence, shut out the punchless Padres for the seventh and eighth innings. The Dodgers then had these options as they headed into the ninth inning.

  • Osoria, who would be going for his second three-inning outing of the season (he had thrown 23 pitches to that point)
  • Lance Carter, who has been mostly poor this season but survived his outing in the 14-inning game at Houston on Wednesday without taking the loss
  • Hong-Chih Kuo, the promising prospect who has struggled with control
  • Takashi Saito, who had thrown 13 pitches Friday and 14 Saturday
  • Danys Baez, who had thrown 10 pitches Friday and four Saturday
  • Tim Hamulack - I can't think of anything interesting to say about him.

    It seems clear that neither Saito nor Baez should have been the first options in this situation - despite how few pitches they used in their recent outings, you'd prefer not to have your top relievers even warm up on a third consecutive day - and a 5-0 lead gives you time to avoid facing that decision. Though I was no fan of the acquisition of Carter and don't remotely believe he is one of the top 11 pitchers in the Dodger organization, there is no faulting Grady Little for thinking that a five-run lead in run-dry San Diego was a good time to get something out of Carter.

    The hook for Carter might have been one batter slow - I might have taken him out after he gave up two straight hits to start the inning. Where things get ugly is when Baez came in as Plan B after Carter walked Mike Piazza, showed he had next to nothing, and we found there was no Plan C.

    Given how much Baez had worked recently, there was little reason to think he was going to get better as he threw more pitches - and certainly, there wasn't much time for him to get better. Baez should have been out of there after he walked Khalil Greene to force in the Padres' second run. That Baez was allowed to walk two batters with the bases loaded seems somewhat ridiculous.

    I say that with full knowledge that Little didn't have many attractive options in the bullpen to choose from. But this is the thing in these situations: Your odds of winning with a clearly struggling pitcher are less than they are of trying out a fresh pitcher. Put it this way: if Carter hadn't been in the game already, I'd have rather seen Carter in there than the fading Baez, the way he was pitching.

    Hamulack got the Dodgers out of the ninth inning, but almost inevitably, couldn't get them out of the 10th.

    Overall, I think that to see this game as Little's loss - or for that matter, any single Dodger's loss - would be a mistake. The Dodgers are starting to let people earn their way in and out of jobs. Saito has become the setup man after starting the season in Las Vegas. Jason Repko is pushing Jose Cruz, Jr. As unimpressed as I've been by Carter, I don't think he's as bad as he's shown himself this month. But that's not good enough, not with Jonathan Broxton sizzling in Las Vegas. I'd rather take my chances on Broxton's major league control problems to get his strikeout pitch than see Carter's dejected face after another poor outing. That's the next move that has to be made.

    The Dodgers are 2-8 in one-run games - 10-5 in all others. The downside is the team has wasted opportunities; the upside is they are better than their record indicates. My mantra remains that this team will get better as the season progresses.

    * * *

    Padres starter and ex-Dodger Chan Ho Park made two great full-count, runners-on pitches Sunday - one that busted in from the middle of the plate nearly to Jeff Kent's hip to strike out the Dodger cleanup hitter in the third inning swinging, the other a breaking ball to get J.D. Drew in the top of the fifth.

    Earlier, Park also knocked down a scorcher - losing his necklace in the process - with two on and two out in the second inning off the bat of Lowe. When, after Drew struck out, San Diego shortstop Greene made an extraordinary, infield-in, backhand stab of a Kent line drive to record the second out of the fifth inning, there was every reason to think that the Dodgers were in trouble despite leading, 1-0, that they had wasted too many opportunities.

    Two pitches over the high middle of the plate later, it was 5-0 Dodgers. A single by Nomar Garciaparra to drive in two, a homer by Bill Mueller to drive in two more. And all seemed well ... until we realized that Mueller's blast would be the last hit the Dodgers would have.

    * * *

    Kent was 0 for 5 in this game, but he did contribute. He made a fine over-the-shoulder, sun-challenged catch of a pop fly to right field. He also worked Park for 24 of the 99 pitches Park through in five innings - double his share. The batter following Kent, Garciaparra, reached base all three times against Park (though once was leading off an inning).

    I've seen Kent hit two absolute bullets on the current road trip - today, and in the ninth inning against Houston on Thursday. Kent has also had some bad at-bats, and isn't hitting the ball for much distance. But he doesn't look as hopeless at the plate as does Rafael Furcal, who hasn't been able to hit the ball more than 200 feet in ages.

    * * *

    Update: The Dodgers made the exact move I suggested, only with two different pitchers. Joe Beimel has been called up and Kuo has been optioned, according to Ken Gurnick of

    Carter's lack of minor league options plays into why he is still on the roster, but for now it seems that the ejection seat blew on the wrong guy. Carter's role is still a "topic of discussion," Dodger general manager Ned Colletti told Gurnick - so perhaps Carter will meet the same fate that Tyler Walker of the Giants met last week - banishment to Tampa Bay (Carter's former team).

    Little had this to say about Carter after today's game.

    "Carter was coming off a great game in Houston [tossing two scoreless innings], and we thought the wheels were back on track ..."

    To review, Carter walked two of the first four hitters he faced in that game. He finished his outing strong, but there was no reason to be more optimistic about Carter than Kuo, who allowed a popup, a walk, a single, an intentional walk and a sacrifice fly.

    The shift from Kuo to Beimel won't make much difference in the short term. But the Dodgers right now have a completely unreliable arm on their staff in Carter.

    * * *

    There's more about Repko's potential ascension to the starting lineup in Gurnick's sidebar.. Today, Repko got his hit by reaching down at a sinking pitch from Park and pulling it with some effort into left field. I wonder how long he'll continue to be such a pull hitter, and whether he'll need to adapt sooner or later.

    * * *

    Drew failed to reach base today for the first regular season game in, you know, like 10 months.

  • Comments (107)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2006-04-30 17:06:18
    1.   Suffering Bruin
    I did not see the game where the Dodgers lost the huge lead against the Phillies, at Dodger Stadium no less.

    That is why I can say that this was as depressing a regular season loss as I can remember. This was just sad on so many levels.

    2006-04-30 17:13:20
    2.   Suffering Bruin
    And going for two...

    I dasn't twit Grittle too much for this. As Jon said, the options were not attractive. There aren't five relievers in baseball who would be odds on favorites to blow a five-run lead. Lance Carter just happens to be one of them.

    2006-04-30 17:13:28
    3.   King of the Hobos
    Apparently Freddy Garcia tested positive for marijuana during the WBC, although because it was the WBC, he won't be punished by the MLB
    2006-04-30 17:17:27
    4.   Inside Baseball
    1 - A certain game featuring a homerun by Joe Morgan wins the most depressing regular season loss for me.

    Today's game is a definite candidate for the top-ten of "Suckiest Dodger Games post 1988."

    2006-04-30 17:18:04
    5.   DXMachina
    2. Yeah, I can't blame him too much, either. It's not like Grady was the one throwing bad pitches. Maybe he should've brought in Hamulack earlier, but Baez has been aces for him so far, one of the two guys he could really count on up til now.
    2006-04-30 17:19:59
    6.   Gen3Blue
    Jon-- I think your analysis is much better than my emotional outbursts at Grady and Carter. But this was a horrible reversal, and for someone who thought I was beginning to get level headed about the D's and the overall importance of sports compared to the real world, a terrible hit. I feel I can't understand: hwo can Drew and Kent seem so good and then be so awful.( and I could include Furcal) Injury? And your view of Grady's options brought sense into the situation. But when he chose Carter, I truly knew it was over.
    I'm Stupified.
    2006-04-30 17:22:31
    7.   Greg Brock
    It's surely time to bring Broxton up, but why not Billingsley as well? Frankly, I'd also like to see what Ethier can do (I mean, far be it from me to want to take playing time away from Jose Cruz Jr. and Kenny Lofton).
    2006-04-30 17:28:52
    8.   Linkmeister
    I wonder if Carter's got the same disease that Steve Blass contracted. Remember how he suddenly stopped being able to get anyone out after two or three great years? Not to say Carter's had great years, but...
    2006-04-30 17:31:45
    9.   Greg Brock
    Carter has a rare offshoot of Blass Disease, known as Niedenfur's Disorder. The most notable aspect of this disease is that it makes everyone else act like they have Tourette's (S#!@ F@^$$#!!).
    2006-04-30 17:56:08
    10.   Gen3Blue
    Oh, I just didn't need to think about(home-run)Neidenfuer tonight.
    2006-04-30 18:11:38
    11.   Marty
    Wow, I get back from the store and wonder how the other thread all of a sudden had so many posts. Then I see half of them were deleted. That must have been something.
    2006-04-30 18:13:46
    12.   Bob Timmermann
    I decided to skip the game thread. Still on a "hanging out with my niece" buzz.

    And we were watching the Lakers game too.

    2006-04-30 18:15:09
    13.   Marty
    I envy you Bob. No nieces or nephews for me.
    2006-04-30 18:15:24
    14.   Dark Horse
    So what to make of the idea we've sent down Kuo (reasonable of itself) and brought up Beimel? I'm not against it, and reckon Kuo could use the time to advantage, but, uh...we're still stuck with Carter?
    2006-04-30 18:17:02
    15.   Andrew Shimmin
    It's been most of a month since the last time that happened, hasn't it? Oh well. The rapid response team killed it off pretty quickly.
    2006-04-30 18:18:03
    16.   Andrew Shimmin
    15 was in response to 11.
    2006-04-30 18:18:25
    17.   Marty
    Furcal is a very weak hitter now, but it seems to me Navarro has hit nothing but bloopers that found a hole or soft line drives also. Have I just not remembered his hard hits?
    2006-04-30 18:19:10
    18.   Bob Timmermann
    And I thought I would get nasty comments from people about the May 1 protests article I posted.

    There weren't any.

    2006-04-30 18:22:42
    19.   Bob Timmermann
    Rafael Furcal now = Dal Maxvill
    2006-04-30 18:24:02
    20.   Marty
    Do you have to go into work tomorrow Bob? I'm not going to even try. Luckily, I can do any work related thing from home when necessary.
    2006-04-30 18:24:49
    21.   Marty
    I haven't thought of Dal Maxvill for awhile.
    2006-04-30 18:25:15
    22.   Andrew Shimmin
    18- I thought about writing a comment in all capital letters calling you a communist, but then decided against it. But if you ever stumble on to some other board, where nobody cares what I think, expect both barrels, bub.
    2006-04-30 18:26:57
    23.   regfairfield
    14 Where are you seeing this?
    2006-04-30 18:27:36
    24.   Bob Timmermann

    I'm going to work. I'm taking the Gold/Red Lines. I don't anticipate much trouble in that regard.

    My biggest problem may be finding a place to eat for lunch. I need to find places run by Koreans or Armenians. They'll be in.

    2006-04-30 18:32:33
    25.   Bob Timmermann
    I don't know if Sunday's game is a sign of things turning around for the Padres, but a wise man once wrote (back on April 27, 2003):

    "It seems that you've truly turned the corner when you're no longer looking for a signed that you've turned the corner."

    2006-04-30 18:33:41
    26.   Marty
    I've got a Korean house painter starting tomorrow. He'll be in. My Salvadoran house cleaner is supposed to be here too. I don't know if she'll come or not but I think she would call me today.
    2006-04-30 18:38:33
    27.   Bob Timmermann
    We all receieved notices at work that if we didn't come in Monday, we had to have a doctor's note or a preapproved vacation day.
    2006-04-30 18:41:06
    28.   Marty
    My place was encouraging people to stay home unless absolutely necessary. All of our applications are available to everyone from home. Most copy editors and designers will come in though.
    2006-04-30 18:42:13
    29.   Bob Timmermann
    But the LA Times building is in the heart of Protest Land.

    The liberry ain't.

    2006-04-30 18:42:42
    30.   Linkmeister
    27 You mean a note from SEIU chairman Andy Stern isn't good enough? Tsk.
    2006-04-30 18:43:56
    31.   Marty
    It certainly is. I'd actually like to see the crowd from within the building. But not enough to come in.
    2006-04-30 18:45:29
    32.   Marty
    They are putting the new police station right across the street from us. When that's finished protesters will get a twofer by being able to protest against the cops and the media at once.
    2006-04-30 18:50:19
    33.   Bob Timmermann
    The biggest impact the liberry will face will that won't able to tape scenes for "CSI: NY" or "Crossing Jordan" or footage for innumerable car commercials.

    Or maybe they will and if I want to get lunch, I can just steal from the craft services table.

    2006-04-30 18:50:53
    34.   MartinBillingsley31
    So what to make of the idea we've sent down Kuo (reasonable of itself) and brought up Beimel? I'm not against it, and reckon Kuo could use the time to advantage, but, uh...we're still stuck with Carter?

    Where did you get the info that beimel is called up and kuo down?
    Do you have a source?
    If its true, stupid move, should have sent carter on his way.

    2006-04-30 18:55:42
    35.   Dark Horse
    34--It was "announced" (if that's the right word) on Dodgertalk, by A. Martinez. In any case, I agree it seems completely off-point. Kuo needs to work on some things, but surely our larger issue here is Carter, and surely Broxton--at the very least--deserves the call over Beimel.
    2006-04-30 19:09:57
    36.   D4P
    Here's a link:

    2006-04-30 19:10:17
    37.   gcrl
    9 , 10

    lance carter is a pitcher we niedenfuer games...

    2006-04-30 19:11:39
    38.   oldbear
    The irony afterward was that the Dodgers optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas the rookie Kuo, a hard-throwing lefty with a 5.54 ERA and 15 walks in 13 innings. He will be replaced by another left-hander, Joe Beimel, who was 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA and four walks in 13 innings at Las Vegas.

    "Kuo needs better command and to hold runners on, and this isn't the place to learn that," said Colletti, who added that Carter's situation is "a topic of discussion."

    2006-04-30 19:18:48
    39.   Vishal
    [33] liberry, bob?
    2006-04-30 19:19:13
    40.   Linkmeister
    "A topic of discussion," the man says. Yup, and not just in the upper echelons of team management.

    Wasn't there a series of espionage books with a hero named Nick Carter? That's who we need, not this version named Lance.

    2006-04-30 19:19:51
    41.   Linkmeister
    39 Give the man a break. He's been consorting with nieces and nephews who probably pronounce it that way. ;)
    2006-04-30 19:19:55
    42.   CanuckDodger
    Was Beimel even on the 40-man roster? If Carter is not losing his roster spot, we better not be losing somebody we shouldn't lose to make room for Beimel.
    2006-04-30 19:23:46
    43.   Uncle Miltie
    42- Brazoban can go on the 60 day DL right? Or Ned can just rid himself of one of those unproven guys like Greg Miller, Delwyn Young or Willy Aybar. No reason to keep those guys on the 40 man roster. Those are valuable spots that could easily be filled by proven veterans.
    2006-04-30 19:24:06
    44.   oldbear
    Was Beimel even on the 40-man roster


    2006-04-30 19:24:10
    45.   Bob Timmermann
    Beimel isn't on the 40-man roster, but presumably Brazoban could moved off on to the 60-day DL.
    2006-04-30 19:24:55
    46.   Bob Timmermann
    Also if you work in a liberry, you can say liberry.
    2006-04-30 19:25:16
    47.   oldbear
    Jayson Werth has beem moved to the 60 day DL. There's your answer.
    2006-04-30 19:30:58
    48.   Steve
    I always miss the great games.
    2006-04-30 19:39:11
    49.   regfairfield
    47 He was already there.
    2006-04-30 19:48:53
    50.   oldbear
    There's 40 guys listed on the 40-man roster on the Dodgers home site. 1 of those guys, Jayson Werth, is on the 60 day DL. So doesnt that open up a spot for Beimel?
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2006-04-30 19:49:46
    51.   regfairfield
    50 Ah, I see what you mean.
    2006-04-30 19:53:30
    52.   CanuckDodger
    Then why wasn't there room for Cody Ross? He should have been the 41st guy with Werth on the 60 Day DL.
    2006-04-30 19:54:27
    53.   Bob Timmermann
    Ross was out of options. He couldn't be sent to the minors unless he went through waivers.
    2006-04-30 19:55:29
    54.   Andrew Shimmin
    52- There was room on the 40 man for Ross, but not on the 25 man. He was out of options, so he couldn't be sent down.
    2006-04-30 19:56:36
    55.   Bob Timmermann
    Combine those statements and you have the truth!
    2006-04-30 19:58:57
    56.   Andrew Shimmin
    55- And, from them, we can extrapolate where Beimel's spot on the 40 man came from.
    2006-04-30 20:04:26
    57.   Steve
    Only the Dodgers (and 29 other major league teams) could respond to a game like today's by optioning Kuo.
    2006-04-30 20:06:07
    58.   Marty
    57 How true...
    2006-04-30 20:06:20
    59.   Bob Timmermann
    Jon made a bold statement there.
    2006-04-30 20:09:02
    60.   Bob Timmermann
    The joke in 59 was an extraordinarily time-sensitive joke.
    2006-04-30 20:13:13
    61.   Jon Weisman
    And now the joke's on you!
    2006-04-30 20:13:31
    62.   Bob Timmermann
    Sending down Kuo in response to Sunday's game reminds me of the saying "Don't mow your neighbor's lawn just to spite your face."
    2006-04-30 20:13:56
    63.   CanuckDodger
    Carter has got to be released, everybody agrees, but who should come up in his place? There may be merit in the idea that Broxton, who has yet to turn 22, shouldn't be rushed, regardless of the extent to which he is blowing the doors off the Pacific Coast League. Sele? Houlton? Looking at how well Eric Hull is doing (20 K's in 11 IP), I actually would like to see him be given Carter's roster spot, just to see what we have on our hands.
    2006-04-30 20:18:19
    64.   Jon Weisman
    Is it rushing Broxton to call him up for his second run in the big leagues and install him behind Baez, Saito and perhaps Beimel and Osoria in the reliever roll call?
    2006-04-30 20:20:24
    65.   Andrew Shimmin
    The Dodger collapse gets a shout out from Jon Miller.
    2006-04-30 20:20:26
    66.   Steve
    "everybody agrees"

    Well, except for the guy who traded the extremely valuable prospects to get him. But are we all forgetting his wonderful spring training?

    2006-04-30 20:24:16
    67.   Steve
    Whoever is in the bullpen, they all better be ahead of Beimel, with the possible exception of Baez.
    2006-04-30 20:29:10
    68.   Inside Baseball
    64 I don't think so. He got his feet wet last year and I think if anything it could give him more of a boost of confidence than even his fast start in Vegas. Call him up while he's hot and use him carefully to begin win. Completely contrary to how Tracy threw him out there in a very tough spot in his debut (late in a very close game IIRC). I think Broxton would be here to stay.
    2006-04-30 20:37:05
    69.   CanuckDodger
    64 -- Broxton's command still needs work, from what I have read, and if Kuo is getting sent down because Colletti doesn't think the majors are the place to work on that, then the same principle applies to Broxton. My info about Broxton's command is coming from a post on by one of the minor league replacement umpires who just happened to be behind the plate during a Broxton appearance. That umpire seems to think that Broxton's raw stuff is so just overwhelming for Triple A hitters that said hitters are getting themselves out before Broxton has a chance to walk them. That theory probably explains why BOTH Broxton and Kuo have not walked many batters in the minors, but walked everybody in sight on their first exposure to the majors. This would be a good example of how minor league stats can be misleading.
    2006-04-30 20:37:22
    70.   Steve
    Geez, somebody dropped a nuclear bomb on the game thread. Too bad it overshadowed a rare cameo appearance by Fearing Blue.
    2006-04-30 20:39:07
    71.   Bob Timmermann
    So was the problem in the ninth inning that the refs didn't see Lance Carter calling for timeout?
    2006-04-30 20:39:25
    72.   D4P
    Starvin' Marvin not only dropped by, but also dropped a number of f-bombs.
    2006-04-30 20:42:06
    73.   Steve
    A natural reaction to having Danys Baez as your "closer," I would think.
    2006-04-30 20:43:28
    74.   Steve
    But Lowe had a heck of a game, with the Padre Caveat still applying.
    2006-04-30 20:47:30
    75.   D4P
    Does the Padre Caveat suggest that Carter and Baez are even worse than we thought?
    2006-04-30 20:54:15
    76.   Steve
    Carter should be selling Amway for a living, as should anyone who would trade for him. Baez did exactly what you would expect a middle reliever in that situation to do, which is dink around, not have the stuff to strike anyone out, give up a bunch of runs, and saddle someone else with the loss.
    2006-04-30 20:54:40
    77.   Scanman33
    So who steps up to be the Dodgers' Beimel-eraser?
    2006-04-30 20:57:04
    78.   Scanman33
    76- I think Carter's inability to close the deal would hinder him in that line of work.
    2006-04-30 21:34:53
    79.   LAT
    69. I know he is only a replacement ump but it seems improper for any upm to be commenting publically about a players ability. . . and on a team blog no less. Having said that, it is fun to hear an insiders perspective.
    2006-04-30 21:37:07
    80.   LAT
    Carter should be selling Amway for a living

    No way!!! Selling Amway involves making a pitch. Something we know he can't do. Digging ditches--now that's something he has a talent for.

    2006-04-30 21:40:14
    81.   LAT
    I was in and out of DT all day today and of course I missed the Marvin guy. Jon, when you sell "Best of DT II" as an incentive you should have a special section for the deleted posts. If Springer and Stern can sell unedited versions of hteir shows and make millions why can't you?
    2006-04-30 21:43:35
    82.   regfairfield
    It was just really repeative. He didn't even put any effort into the troll.
    2006-04-30 21:48:58
    83.   LAT
    An uncreative troll. Well then I guess I didn't miss much.
    2006-04-30 21:53:28
    84.   Bob Timmermann
    I remember back in the day when trolls were trolls. When I was 37, trolls knew how to troll. Food tasted better. Beer was more alcoholic. Dialup connections were king. Giants walked the earth.
    2006-04-30 21:57:45
    85.   natepurcell


    2006-04-30 22:03:46
    86.   das411
    84 - 2002?
    2006-04-30 22:13:37
    87.   Bob Timmermann
    Yes, 2002.

    You can always remember when I was born if you keep in mind that I'm 17 years older than Jackson Browne.

    I believe only the old fogies of the board will understand that reference.

    2006-04-30 22:18:19
    88.   capdodger
    84. ...Giants walked the earth.


    2006-04-30 22:18:33
    89.   Steve
    An uncreative troll.

    There's another kind?

    2006-04-30 22:42:08
    90.   Andrew Shimmin
    89- In theory.
    2006-04-30 23:06:20
    91.   Underbruin
    89 - They paint great masterworks of art underneath bridges, constantly mumbling about goats.
    2006-04-30 23:09:13
    92.   Curtis Lowe
    I decided I needed a good steak after the uplifting win by the Lakers and the gut wrenching loss of the dodgers.

    Lance Carter sucks.

    Baez cannot pitch without being babied.

    Gagne needs to get healthy.

    Lance Carter sucks.

    2006-04-30 23:25:11
    93.   Linkmeister
    87 Huh? I qualify as an old fogie, but Jackson Browne (of whom I'm a certified fan) is about my age or a year older, and you're not even close.
    2006-04-30 23:31:26
    94.   Andrew Shimmin
    New meat?

    2006-04-30 23:42:20
    95.   Bob Timmermann
    Whoops, I meant 17 years YOUNGER than Jackson Browne.

    I was way too clever for my own good.

    2006-04-30 23:43:36
    96.   Linkmeister
    That makes more sense. How did that get into your head anyway? Do you share a birthday or something, and is it this week?
    2006-04-30 23:55:38
    97.   Bob Timmermann
    In the song "Running on Empty" there's a line that goes "In '65, I was 17...."
    2006-05-01 00:03:53
    98.   Linkmeister
    Gotcha. Good album.
    2006-05-01 00:23:13
    99.   xaphor
    94 A computer user who's not big on ethics; sounds like Depo's biggest supporter was too late in coming. :)
    2006-05-01 04:51:14
    100.   Sam DC
    Washington Post caption editor familiar with the Grabowski principal. Caption for grimacing photo of Zach Day accompanying yesterday's game: "Nats starter feels the pain of walking the Cardinal's No. 8 hitter in the fifth inning. St. Louis went on to score three runs, taking the lead for good."
    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2006-05-01 07:09:21
    101.   Sam DC
    Running on Empty was the first record I owned. First concert, some years later -- Sparks at the Palladium.
    2006-05-01 07:26:55
    102.   Blu2
    Jon, I have to disagree with you on 'whose loss' this game is. It, and most losses, set squarely on the manager's shoulders. Almost invariably, every athlete, amatuer or professional, is doing the best he can when he's in the game; his pride won't let him do less. On a very few occaisons we have seen players 'dogging' it; it is obvious and easy to spot. Carter is not dogging it. Other players know these things and that is why they don't and won't criticize a fellow player when he is not doing well. That is the responsibility of the manager and general manager. The players may well know Carter is not good enough to pitch on this team, or Martinez not good enough to use, but they cannot and will not say so. That job, and the only job he has to do, is the responsibility of the manager. Nearly all losses belong around the manager's neck. If he can't guess which pitcher or hitter is going to be effective a very large percentage of the time, then we need a new manager, I sometimes think a computer simply analyzing the player's performance the last 5 or 10 or 20 times out, would win far more games than any manager.
    2006-05-01 07:40:08
    103.   Jon Weisman
    102 - I don't think it's unreasonable to think that Carter could have gotten three outs before he came close to giving up five runs. Opponents are hitting him, but they're not batting 1.000 against him. Just one out in the first three batters would have made a huge difference.

    But sure, we can disagree.

    2006-05-01 07:56:53
    104.   Blu2
    Some outs would have been nice, but attitude is realy big in competition. Carter has lost confidence in his ability, that alone takes away some of his ability; and predators smell fear, making them attack, meaning the batters know he is struggling and it increases their enthusiasm and ability. And the fielders behind a bad pitcher also tend to let down and lose something off their capabilities. I have always felt that a relief pitcher coming in needs to be highly agressive, being timid will definitely work against you. The relief pitcher's first pitch should be high and well inside, a message to the batters about who's in charge now. I don't mean to hit anyone, just make it close enough to bring that thought foremost in the batters mind. Very effective agaiunst most hitters.
    2006-05-01 07:58:29
    105.   Sam DC
    Great line from Cub Town:

    "Let me put this another way: At the end of play this weekend, Albert Pujols, on an amazing tear to start the season, is sporting a .346/.509/.914 line - just vicious stuff. The line allowed by Glendon Rusch in his first five starts has been .348/.438/.841, turning entire teams into vast armies of Pujolses. Glendon seems like a awfully nice fella, and I appreciate all he did for the club in 2004, but that Glendon isn't coming back, and it makes no more sense to wait for him."

    2006-05-01 08:06:48
    106.   Jon Weisman
    104 - How do you know Carter has lost confidence in his ability? He was clearly dejected after his outing, but reading anything beyond that is speculation. At a minimum, we certainly don't know what his attitude was when he entered the game. Everyone with the Dodgers seemed to think (however incorrectly) that Carter's performance in Houston was a turning point.

    Carter's first pitch was a strike. His third and fifth and seventh pitches were strikes. It's only after two guys got on that he started to get too careful. He was not particularly timid at all to the first two batters.

    The idea that the first pitch of every relief pitcher should go to the same spot is sort of preposterous on its face. I also don't get how increased enthusiasm for a hitter is a weapon against a timid pitcher. Enthusiasm would make a batter more eager to swing against a pitcher you're implying isn't willing to throw strikes.

    Carter isn't all that good, and he had a bad outing. I would just leave it at that rather than try to psychoanalyze it.

    2006-05-01 08:12:37
    107.   Jon Weisman
    New post up top.

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