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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

For One Day, A Team Takes Over a City, A Game Takes Over a Country
2006-09-20 08:00
by Jon Weisman

Pure, glorious torture.

One of the wonderful things about Tuesday was to see the entire community share in the wonder of the Fourmer game. (No, I know that doesn't really work, but you know what I'm talking about.) You might not have even known there was a community until Nomar Garciaparra's exclamation point flew into the left-field bleachers. So many people were talking about it, and man, so many people were writing about it.

And it killed me not to be able to join in. Monday night was a blessing, but my Tuesday work schedule was a curse.

It was humbling to see everyone else do everything I wanted to do: recount their tales of attending or not attending, transcribe Vin Scully's call, round up reactions, pull together video montages, interview participants, write open letters to their sleeping children. I wanted to do it all. Instead, I was just left with being an ordinary fan blessed with having experienced the event live. It's okay, but I'm jealous.

The genius of Scully is that he doesn't need any extra time to put his stamp on history, not one extra moment. He speaks directly into history. And I was locked inside my own head, nothing more, a shadow of my fourmer self. (Hey, that time it works.) The frustration confirmed both my passion and my limitations.

Fortunately, Monday wasn't about me. Monday was about all of us who, no matter how cynical we get, can continue to be amazed. I reveled in sharing everyone else's joy.

* * *

Now, it's Wednesday, and like Festivus, real life intrudes on the celebration. The Dodgers lost the game after, allowing 10 runs or more for the third time in four games. The hitters have come alive, Marlon Anderson has turned into Superman - not only blasting the ball but also nearly making a catch that would have been about as incredible as Monday's comeback - but the bullpen is getting hammered, reeling from another spin of the Wheel of Inconsistency.

Have you noticed yet that the team never looks the same from week to week? I long ago stopped guaranteeing future results on past performance for the 2006 Dodgers. I just wait for them to peel the fruit and find out what lies beneath, sweet or sour.

Comments (123)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-09-20 08:14:58
1.   Jeromy
I really felt the Dodgers could have beat Snell last night. They certainly had their opportunities in the early innings. Kuo pitched very well. Double play grounders, walks to weak hitters, errors--all the mistakes that can doom a team showed up.

I'm particularly curious about why Little has stuck with Tomko. Dessens' flyball homerun was forgiveable. He inherited a mess, and it was sandwiched in between a couple of well-pitched K's. And if Tomko could have held it close, Anderson's homerun may have tied the game, and we would have been right in the middle of the magic once again . . . Would have, could have, should have . . . I know, I know. I just feel like Tomko has some glaring problems and he shouldn't be used until they can figure them out.

2006-09-20 08:22:17
2.   Benaiah
What kills me is how good this team often is, and yet they are also seemingly always on the brink of mediocrity or much much worse. It keeps it interesting, but this time of year is not when I want to see spotty pitching, even if it coinciding with marvelous hitting. This team could make a run in the post season, but would anyone be surprised if they were swept? Or if they didn't make it at all? I see a team that has manufactured heroes all year, but has discarded them as soon as it was expedient. Our best starter through the first few months is now a mop up man and our Rookie of the Year candidate is relegated to pinch hitting, while our bust of a free agent short stop and the pinch hitter are carrying the team. Perhaps Nomar's redemption on Monday showed us that all those one time heroes are still waiting in the wings for another chance. We will probably need a lot of them if this year is going to be as magic as it has seemed at times.
2006-09-20 08:30:18
3.   underdog
That's a great analogy, Jon. The team really does offer constant surprises, like a cornucopia of mysterious fruit - we're not sure how each week is going to taste. It's like a rollercoaster ride - and I hate rollercoasters - but at least they're consistently interesting to follow and root for. I only hope I have the stomach to make it through the last 2 weeks.

Btw, I really think the Dodgers top rookie of the year candidate should be Russell Martin. Not only has he been for the most part pretty consistent with the bat (with some power when needed), but has had the toughest job of all - calling pitches/receiving for a really erratic group of pitchers.

2006-09-20 08:31:03
4.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Have you noticed yet that the team never looks the same from week to week?

Ugh! The back and forth between brilliance and failure is killing me! (Of course, this could not have been more obvious when they dropped 13 of 14 and then won 17 of 18...)

2006-09-20 08:37:17
5.   underdog
2 "Our best starter through the first few months is now a mop up man" - meaning Aaron Sele? He gave us a lot of good games and innings it's true, but he also dropped off in consistency in the second half, as he's wont to do, and I don't think the Dodgers saw enough in him to keep him in the rotation. He's still in the mix should Billingsley not be able to go, or to replace Kuo. Our pitching will come back around (and also have a few more bad spells) but I'm more worried about the bullpen right now.
2006-09-20 08:37:36
6.   regfairfield
Has anyone ever hit five home runs as a Dodger faster than Marlon Anderson. The only person that comes to mind in recent memory is Kevin Elster, but it took him 48 plate appearances. Anderson has done it in 36.
2006-09-20 08:38:59
7.   regfairfield
It took Matt Kemp 42 plate appearances before his 5th.
2006-09-20 08:40:27
8.   Bob Timmermann
It took Matt Kemp 40 PAs to hit 5. (I'm counting quickly.)
2006-09-20 08:40:49
9.   Bob Timmermann
Regairfield counts more accurately and quickly!
2006-09-20 08:43:17
10.   Bob Timmermann
My Dodger Stadium valedictory has been pushed back to Saturday.
2006-09-20 08:44:34
11.   underdog
Who's Matt Kemp? The name rings a bell but it's very fuzzy... {hee.}

any comments on the Times' more detailed recount of what happened between Duncan and Peavy the other night? Sounds like both of them were being jerks, basically, with Duncan also probably trying to distract the tempermental pitcher, while also possibly mishearing something Peavy said, who knows... Peavy was obviously fairly pissy that night.

2006-09-20 08:45:05
12.   Benaiah
5 - My point was not that he should be in the rotation, only that he isn't. He was dynamite for a few months, and then we shuffled him back into the deck when it became clear that we had wringed all the luck out of his tired arm. Matt Kemp, Ethier, Sele, Furcal, Nomar, Penny, Drew and Lowe have all had periods of extreme productivity matched by soul crushing slumps. We have had a few heroes who have been reletively without stain, Saito, Broxton and now Anderson, though the latter only because he hasn't had the time, but most of the good players on our team have played like the worst players in baseball at various times.
2006-09-20 09:17:29
13.   Jeromy
I've heard arguments that managing in MLB is the easiest of the all of major sports, but the points being made here so how difficult it really is. You have to ride the waves of productivity and make decisions put your team in the best position to win--such as benching Either or giving Kuo the ball in pennant drive. Somedays it looks great on paper and falls apart. Other days look bleak and you dominate. Baseball is a fickle sport. Perhaps that is why we love it so much.
2006-09-20 09:28:49
14.   regfairfield
Looking into the Marlon Anderson thing, right now he's still the fastest to five I've found, but Don Drysdale is in third if you only look at the L.A. Dodgers, with 5 in his first 43.
2006-09-20 09:48:03
15.   BlueMamma
12 - saito isn't without stain either. he didn't even make the team out of spring training, and he wasn't good enough to be an obvious closer option early on, when grady was shuffling between baez, broxton, and whoever else.

those days seem far off and long ago now...

2006-09-20 09:52:03
16.   regfairfield
I can confirm that Marlon Anderson now holds the L.A. Dodger record for least amount of plate appearances as a Dodger to reach five home runs.
2006-09-20 09:53:14
17.   dianagramr

But Marlon still gets no help from the fans ...

2006-09-20 10:04:28
18.   Bob Timmermann
Diane, are we going to have set you down for the Tinyurl talk?

But it's a nice photo.

It would have been more fun if the fans had started batting Marlon around like a beachball.

2006-09-20 10:12:26
19.   goblue1
'Pen is melting down and the team is choking its way out of first place- not really all that fired up about the Marlin Anderson fastest newly acquired Dodger to 5HRs in 36 plate appearances record. Maddux needs to right the ship tonight and go 7 or 8.
2006-09-20 10:12:26
20.   dianagramr

gak ... sorry Bob ... I'm usually good about the Tinyurl inclusion ....

my bad

2006-09-20 10:15:19
21.   regfairfield
It will be interesting to see if he can get the records for six and seven. Kemp has the record for six with 43, while Don Drysdale is the champion for seven at 46.

Drysdale does get an asterisk, since he had two years with the Brooklyn Dodgers before hand.

2006-09-20 10:17:04
22.   Sam DC
The Nationals have switched Sallie league affiliates from Savannah, GA to Hagerstown, MD.

It may be closer and all, but isn't Savannah a sexier destination? And how could the DC Nats do better for an A-league affiliate name than "Sand Gnats."

2006-09-20 10:19:23
23.   Daniel Zappala
So does Carrara rank ahead of Tomko in the bullpen now? How would you rank our bullpen arms in terms of reliability to get through an inning, three outs and no runs?


2006-09-20 10:31:04
24.   underdog
It's funny, with this talk about the state and ranking of the Dodgers bullpen, I looked this morning at the baseball preview magazine I got in March (Street and Smith's), which had each team's "projected roster" listed. In fairness, the magazine was written very early before moves were made and injuries and so on. But it's weird to think this was how the Dodgers bullpen projected:
1) Eric Gagne
2) Yhency Brazoban
3) Edwin Jackson
4) Kelly Wunsch
5) Jonathan Broxton
2006-09-20 10:33:08
25.   underdog
Whatever happened to Wunsch anyway? Never made it back from his injury? I liked him more than I like... Hamulack anyway.

I think we all agree it would have been nice to still have Duaner Sanchez (who's now injured anyway), though I did understand the trade at the time, since we needed a 5th starter. Mets fans were upset when it was made.

2006-09-20 10:39:13
26.   regfairfield
25 He was never activated from the minor league DL
2006-09-20 10:59:08
27.   Daniel Zappala
Gagne, Sanchez, and Brazoban would of course been nice, along with Broxton. Oh, what could have been ...
2006-09-20 11:15:39
28.   Bob Timmermann
I still wear my "Ghame Over" t-shirt. Usually to the laundromat.

Oh what might have been...

2006-09-20 11:23:39
29.   dagwich
28 My "Ghame Over" shirt is now my official lounge-around-the-house-wear as I follow events on Gameday. My wife still can't quite figure it out.
2006-09-20 11:25:23
30.   Telemachos
After last night's game, the kneejerk reaction is to think, "Well, the 4-homer game didn't have an effect... it really was just one game after all." And to some degree that's true. However, despite the wretchedness of last night's game, think of how badly the Dodgers would be positioned if they hadn't had that dramatic win. They'd be 2 1/2 back and tied (I think) for the wild card lead.

One thing is abundantly clear, though -- our pitching needs to shape up, and quickly. It doesn't necessarily need to be lights-out (our hitting seems to be on the upswing), but 6 runs really should be enough to beat a team.

2006-09-20 11:26:07
31.   Sam DC
No news here, from Post Nationals beat writer, but an interesting comment on trying to report on CBA negotiations:

Section 408, Row 1: Barry, What's this I hear that a change in Baseball's CBA could rob the Nats of the compensatory draft picks they were hoping to get if (when) Soriano signs elsewhere? How can baseball change a rule like that after teams have relied on it at the trade deadline? Seems very unfair.

Barry Svrluga: This issue is, apparently, on the table in negotiations for the next CBA, and I wrote about it briefly last week. However, most people believe that even if the rules are changed -- a team such as the Nationals would currently receive two draft picks for losing a free agent of Soriano's caliber -- they won't include this year's free agent class.

That makes the most sense to me. I'll tell you this, though: Both sides are very jumpy about talking about the CBA negotiations. They want to keep them as quiet as possible.

--- chat running now at

2006-09-20 11:39:33
32.   goblue1
Tracy has a better post All-Star record than Grittle this year. What does that tell you? Wow.
2006-09-20 11:39:35
33.   Sam DC
Re 22, the Nationals have also now switched their AAA from New Orleans to Columbus, Ohio. Tough day to be an 18 year old in the Nats system looking at Savannah and New Orleans down the road swapped our for Hagerstown and Columbus.
2006-09-20 11:45:35
34.   Bob Timmermann
I'm sure those Phillies prospects are relishing the chance to go to Allentown in 2008. But for 2007, they'll get to go to Ottawa!

I'll be taking an Ottawan to Dodger Stadium for his first visit there ever this Saturday. He is looking forward to the chance to urinate in a trough since he says it will remind him of Maple Leaf Gardens.

2006-09-20 11:46:08
35.   bhsportsguy
As someone who was there for both the "With Four, you get Nomar" game and last night's mess and I happened to be just out of that picture where Marlon lept into the stands (Had he caught that, I think he would have won an ESPY, Web Gem of the year, etc.), there were just stark differences in both nights.

In some ways, you had to think that there would be a little letdown and hopefully Maddux can put the team back on his shoulders and the bullpen can recover.

Tomko has not been the same since he did not get that call in New York against Wright. He needs to sit for a while and figure out that his job is just throw hard and take the consequences.

Right now, the team is kind of in a sleepwalk, they have not won two straight games in almost three weeks. So while the steakiness has ended, their ability to have all parts of their game going at the same time has gone away temporarily.

But again, hope springs eternal and I will hope that in October, I get charged for my playoff tickets instead of getting a refund.

2006-09-20 11:47:29
36.   bhsportsguy
32 Tracy also has a better record than the entire National League West and until recently the Cards have not played all that great, either.
2006-09-20 11:47:54
37.   Sam DC
More chat:

Washington, D.C: Dodgers and/or Padres in the playoffs?

Barry Svrluga: I'll take both.

2006-09-20 11:48:38
38.   GoBears
I flipped on "Around the Horn" yesterday whilst making lunch, as they did the 4Back2Back highlights, and debated whether the miraculous win would propel the Dodgers and sink the Padres. Jay Mariotti let loose a good one (and I paraphrase):

"We've always known that the Dodgers had the pitching to make the postseason, but the question was power and the ability to score runs."

Um, yeah. Pitching? Not so much. Power? True enough. Ability to score? Look again.

This is what happens from following the Cubs all year every year. Disorientation.

2006-09-20 12:00:24
39.   Jon Weisman
New post at Screen Jam, if anyone's interested.

2006-09-20 12:01:39
40.   Sam DC
Since no one else is doing anything, I'll continue to hog the thread. Apparently, Barry Svrluga has a bit of Bob's sense of humor to him:

"In all seriousness, just seven home games to go, including tonight. If you want the opportunity to cha[n]t 'Mel-vin Dor-ta!' until your vocal chords ache, get your tickets now."

2006-09-20 12:02:26
41.   Jon Weisman
35 - Was there really any difference between Monday and Tuesday's games besides the opponent and the Dodgers not hitting four home runs in the bottom of the ninth in one of them?
2006-09-20 12:08:59
42.   heato
I had a question about Marlon Anderson's near catch. Would it have been recorded as an out even though he fell into the stands? I always thought that was as good as not catching the ball.
2006-09-20 12:17:03
43.   bhsportsguy
41 Yeah, first, you could not match the intensity, it was for lack of better cliche, a must win for the Dodgers vibe. I have felt that vibe at Laker playoff games but rarely at a Dodger game.

Second, Both Kuo and Snell pitched well through 5 (Snell through 6) and Kuo was dominating 8k/1BB until Sanchez and Bay got some broken bat hits.

From the point of the bullpen blowing up, no difference, Raffy, Kent and Anderson being hot, no difference.

I do think that the Pirates are much looser than the Padres but still it was the middle of the lineup that did the team in and if they are able to get another hit in the 1st or 2nd, maybe we squeeze a win.

But as far as the end result, yep, we could have used the 4 HRs again.

2006-09-20 12:17:34
44.   MMSMikey
yes, as long as you catch the ball on a fly, you can be anywhere when you catch it.
2006-09-20 12:23:31
45.   scooplew
32 By the time the Pirates starting playing well, they were buried deep in the standings. The pressure was off. I liken it to someone who comes in the 4th quarter of an NBA game that has already been decided and puts in a dozen points.
2006-09-20 12:30:38
46.   philmc78
Brett Tomko since August 26 at Arizona: 0-1, 9.99 ERA, 2 HR, 6 BB, 13 hits, 2.11 WHIP, 9 IP, 10 ER.
2006-09-20 12:41:22
47.   MMSMikey
decent line for tomko.
2006-09-20 12:48:21
48.   ToyCannon
I was at both games and I disagree. The intensity came about because you had 55,000 fans not a Tuesday night crowd. The players played the same game, in the 1st inning the 1st 4 players hit rockets and if they fall for hits it is a different game. Marlon Anderson crazy run into the stands should end the intensify talk. Sure JD looked flat but who doesn't when they don't hit.
I was very upset when Little removed Kuo after giving up one of the most flukish hits of the season. He was still pitching a solid game and his end stats only look like crap because Dessens allowed all of Kuo's baserunners to score and one of those was of course the intentional pass he made Kuo give before taking him out. I had great seats last night and was in the 1st row of the Loge behind the dugout and Kuo was still throwing well. No need to remove him in that spot other then the fact he's a rookie and Little has no faith in his ability to work out of a jam. Like Dessens and company have proven capapble of doing such. Tomko should not be used the rest of the year without a backup pitcher getting ready. It might hurt his feelings but who cares. Little is quickly using up all the good will I felt about him until Sept.
2006-09-20 12:48:43
49.   underdog
44 What if it was a real high pop up heading to the upper reaches of the stands, up there for a long time, long enough for a speedy outfielder to run into the stands, catch an escalator up to the top seats and then catch it? That'd work.

I think I saw that in a Bugs Bunny cartoon once; those are very realistic.

2006-09-20 12:52:43
50.   Xeifrank
The Dodgers bullpen is pretty bad right now. We use to be able to rely on Broxton and Saito. Broxton has been a bit shakey of late and Saito was touched up a bit in the "Quad-druple, Quad cripple" game. My suggestion (and I know it will never be implemented until Mark Cuban owns a baseball franchise) is that if you are going to demand on pitching Tomko or Sele every night. Instead of using them in late inning high leverage situations. Why not just start one of them, then pinch hit for them the first time they come up to bat, and then bring your starter in. This way you get 17 non pitcher at bats and your starter is more likely to be pitching some of the high leverage late innings and it's shorter bridge to Broxton and Saito. The only drawback is that you might be down 4-0 in the first inning. :) vr, Xei
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-09-20 12:53:51
51.   MMSMikey
Yeah, grady really had no business taking kuo out. Does anyone remember elmer dessens 1st pitch at a dodger? he came in to relieve wilson alvarez with the bases loaded and the first pitch he threw chipper jones hit in a mile for a grandslam. then just the other week matt holliday hit a 700 foot homerun. the 1st or 2nd pitch he threw. now this. and dont even get me started with tomko, his straight fastball and hanging sliders havent been fooling anyone since april.
2006-09-20 12:55:27
52.   Xeifrank
44. I'd like to see the text from the rule book on that one. I didn't think you could go into the stands (out of play) and catch a ball for an out. I've seen plenty of players catch a ball and then fall into the stands, but never a player actually climb into the stands and then catch a ball. Bob?
vr, Xei
2006-09-20 12:57:34
53.   MMSMikey
you never seen a player climb or run into the stands and catch a ball because its impossible. how can you know exactly where its going to land? what row to cut into? after running up the isle.
2006-09-20 12:58:24
54.   MMSMikey
and wearing steel spikes on concrete in really slippery.
2006-09-20 13:00:41
55.   BlueMamma
32 - Tracy has a better post All-Star record than Grittle this year. What does that tell you? Wow.

it tells you that baseball is a crazy, unpredictable game.

2006-09-20 13:02:41
56.   Xeifrank
53. It's impossible? How do you know where it's going to land? How do you know where any ball is going to land? You look at it and run to where you think it will land. Sure it isn't easy, but niether is hitting four home runs in a row. It's bound to happen at some point. It would need to be a towering foul ball down one of the lines where the wall isn't more than 3 feet high. You just hop the wall, stand in an aisle and catch the ball. Sure it isn't easy, but over the course of 10,000 games or so you think it would happen. vr, Xei
2006-09-20 13:04:43
57.   MMSMikey
you but you cant just run wherever you want to in the stands. thats where people are, and seats.
2006-09-20 13:05:07
58.   808Bears
Don't know the way the rule is actually written, but my understanding is that you need to be in the field of play to record a legal catch. "Catch and carry" is what they call it when you catch a ball and your momentum takes you over the wall and out of play. Thus, leaping to make a catch and falling over the wall is okay, but jumping over the wall first and then catching is not. I also believe that there is a provision for baserunners advancing if the player/caught ball go out of play; something like a dead ball on a overthrow, but I'm hazy on the details.

I'm sure someone will actually read the rule book and straighten this out, however.

2006-09-20 13:05:43
59.   Xeifrank
57. unless it's Florida.
vr, Xei
2006-09-20 13:05:48
60.   Gagne55
I think the rule is that the last time the fielder's feet were on the ground, they had to be in play. Hence, no leaping over the fence, running into the stands and making a catch.

I've seen homers to the Fenway bullpen that the right fielder easily could have done just that.

2006-09-20 13:06:30
61.   Travis
44 52 A player has to have at l foot in play (including on a fence or railing) and none out of play for a catch to be legal. If Marlon Anderson had caught the ball when completely in the stands, it still would have been a home run.

Rule 6.05
A batter is out when --
(a) His fair or foul fly ball (other than a foul tip) is legally caught by a fielder;
Rule 6.05(a) Comment: A fielder may reach into, but not step into, a dugout to make a catch, and if he holds the ball, the catch shall be allowed. A fielder, in order to make a catch on a foul ball nearing a dugout or other out-of-play area (such as the stands), must have one or both feet on or over the playing surface (including the lip of the dugout) and neither foot on the ground inside the dugout or in any other out-of-play area. Ball is in play, unless the fielder, after making a legal catch, falls into a dugout or other out-of-play area, in which case the ball is dead. Status of runners shall be as described in Rule 7.04(c) Comment.

Rule 2.00 (Catch) Comment: A catch is legal if the ball is finally held by any fielder, even though juggled, or held by another fielder before it touches the ground. Runners may leave their bases the instant the first fielder touches the ball. A fielder may reach over a fence, railing, rope or other line of demarcation to make a catch. He may jump on top of a railing, or canvas that may be in foul ground. No interference should be allowed when a fielder reaches over a fence, railing, rope or into a stand to catch a ball. He does so at his own risk.

2006-09-20 13:08:21
62.   Xeifrank
58. Yeah, I think you are on the right track and the "you can be anywhere you want" when you catch a ball is incorrect. But I'd still like to see the rule. I know in softball you can't catch the ball out of the field of play and if you catch and carry the runners get an extra base. I'd like to see what the offical MLB rule says. Bob must be on one of his long lunch breaks. Hope he threw away his packaged spinach. vr, Xei
2006-09-20 13:08:31
63.   NPB
I wish SOMEONE would talk to Little about his bullpen management. The owner? The GM? The media? I think he's a better manager than Tracy in all respects, except when it comes to managing a pitching staff. Of course, that's a big exception...

It's one thing if we don't make the playoffs because players don't produce in key situations. It's another if we get managed out.

2006-09-20 13:11:17
64.   Xeifrank
61. Thanks. So it's similiar to a reception in college football. vr, Xei
2006-09-20 13:16:55
65.   Bob Timmermann
I did throw out my packaged spinach.

My salad tonight will feature arugula!

2006-09-20 13:19:58
66.   Xeifrank
63. I think Grady has been poor on his bullpen management but the fact that the bullpen itself has been so terrible it really magnifies any small mistake. It would be nice if he could squeeze another inning out of his starters. I don't see why Maddux can't throw more than 70 (or so) pitches when he's only given up one hit. Or why Guo can't pitch one more inning when he has struck out 8 has decent control and has given up a few lucky hits. These are very important games. Very little margin for mistakes, whether they be managerial or from the players themselves. vr, Xei
2006-09-20 13:21:53
67.   Daniel Zappala
Let's not get lazy and expect Bob to do everything around here. Spelling, grammar, odd tidbits of information, humor, fact-checking, rules. Not to mention the Griddle. Geez, he can't be superman! Can you Bob?
2006-09-20 13:23:13
68.   Daniel Zappala
6366 Yes, yes yes. So how would you use the bullpen? You're the manager, and have to clean up the 6th inning, plus get to the ninth. Who do you use?
2006-09-20 13:24:04
69.   Bob Timmermann
I give so much, yet I expect so little in return. Maybe I should put up one of them PayPal thingees on the Griddle.

But I can't use my powers to pursue dirty, filthy lucre.

2006-09-20 13:27:32
70.   Bob Timmermann
The Giants and Rockies are 0-0 through 5.

Remember when the Giants were relevant to the pennant race? I remember it like it was just last week.

2006-09-20 13:29:13
71.   underdog
Yeah, there may be some truth to some of the criticisms of how Grady's managed the pitching staff - but really, players need to perform. There's only so much a manager can if a lot of the cards in his hand are playing more like deuces (wild) than like aces. If Tomko, Dessens and Carrara all suck, we can say - leave the starter in longer until we can get to the finishing guys. But if a) the starter is starting to fall apart, which we've seen happen , and b) even the reliable finishers aren't so reliable these days, there's only so much he can do.

Some criticism could be leveled at Ricky Honeycutt, too, for the way he's worked or not worked with various guys, but I don't understand the nuances of coaching well enough to make a fair analysis of that.

2006-09-20 13:29:25
72.   robohobo
51. 66. etc.

Kuo had 96 pitches at the time of being pulled last night. Probably a pitch count thing. If he was injured again, that would not be good.

2006-09-20 13:35:32
73.   Bluebleeder87
another great read Jon, & yes i agree with all your thoughts, it's baseball & that's why we love it, ups & downs & what not.
2006-09-20 13:39:02
74.   Xeifrank
68. see 50. I bite the bullet the first two innings, instead of in the mid 6th through early 8th and get an extra (non pitcher) at bat out of it.
vr, Xei
2006-09-20 13:43:18
75.   Bob Timmermann
Mr. Hawpe with a bases-loaded triple against Schmidt puts the Rockies ahead 3-0.
2006-09-20 13:43:45
76.   Jon Weisman
50 - First of all, it's not like Sele and Tomko are really used every night. And though you may put a smiley face after your last sentence, yes, you are very likely to be losing after the first two innings. In other words, you're ensuring that you use a bad pitcher in your game, instead of leaving open the possibility that your starter might go seven innings and you can bypass Tomko.

And then what happens after the second inning? Do you put in a starting pitcher in for five innings (and thus allow him to bat, negating your early pinch-hitter advantage)? Or do you expect to use your entire staff in two-inning stints?

I don't know how serious I'm supposed to take it, but it doesn't make sense to me.

2006-09-20 13:52:06
77.   Bob Timmermann
To borrow from Vin, I believe that in his honor, we should all tuck in our shirt tails on September 25.

That's the day the Padres play and the Dodgers are off and as Vin would say "That little shirt tail gets tucked in."

2006-09-20 13:57:08
78.   Gagne55
Didn't Pinella once say he was going to start with a reliever then use a starter to start the third and go as far as he could? Of course, he wimped out.
2006-09-20 14:00:19
79.   Jon Weisman
78 - I don't think the theory is to start with a bad reliever, though.
2006-09-20 14:05:22
80.   Bob Timmermann
That was La Russa who tried a set series of pitchers for a few games when the A's were in a bad stretch.

It was a dismal failure because none of the pitchers were any good.

2006-09-20 14:10:26
81.   still bevens
72 I think theyre just being really careful with Kuo, given his history and lack of starting throughout the whole season.
2006-09-20 14:18:30
82.   bluegold
Part of the formula to win the west was to sweep the Pirates this series. I guess we are on Plan B now. And if the Dodgers cannot even win this Pirates series? Let's not even go there...
2006-09-20 14:22:38
83.   robohobo
81. Right. Point being that Kuo was releived not because of anything he did pitching. Grady didn't make a mistake taking him out either. It was for his own protection. Its likely Grady would have left another more durable/experienced pitcher in the game in a similar situation.
2006-09-20 14:23:29
84.   Jon Weisman
82 - I think we're on Plan Y right now. How much this season has gone according to formula? The Padres don't play by the book either.

Anyway, I don't know how one would assume a sweep of any team. It's baseball.

2006-09-20 14:29:44
85.   Benaiah
What about using a pinch hitter in the first inning of games on the road? Pushing the pitcher spot back at least one (you could seemingly replace whoever you wanted at the bottom of the inning).
2006-09-20 14:32:47
86.   Xeifrank
76. It's not my theory, but one that I would like to see implemented. Just because you start Sele or Tomko and put a smiley face at the end of your sentence doesn't mean you will be losing 4-0 after 2 innings. :)
I might not do it with the starters who are more likely to go deeper into a game. At this point I am not sure who that would be. Probably Lowe and Penny? Billingsley, Guo and Maddux don't pitch too many innings. I would try it with them. Of the last 10 games 9 of them had an appearance by a pitcher other than The Starter, Broxton or Saito. Only 7 out of 10 if you include Biemel. This shows that Grady is using our garbage pitchers 70%-90% of the games. I would in starts made by Billingsley and Guo (at the minimum) start either Sele, Tomko or Biemel have them pitch until it is their turn to bat, pinch hit for them then bring in Billingsley/Guo let them pitch their 5+ innings (into the higher leverage innings), possibly pinch hitting for them if their turn in the lineup comes up at the right time (if not, then double switch them out) for Broxton and Saito. vr, Xei
2006-09-20 14:33:49
87.   Daniel Zappala
Leading off for the Dodgers, pitcher ... Julio Lugo.
2006-09-20 14:36:27
88.   NPB
68--well, I wouldn't use Tomko unless the score was 11-0 either way. If the starter goes six, you throw out Beimel (Maybe Carrara if they're losing), Broxton, and Saito. Period. The Padres use Linebrink and Hoffman whenever it's close, and Meredith in the seventh. Consistency matters.
2006-09-20 14:36:56
89.   Jon Weisman
86 - Those later innings have less of a chance of being higher leverage innings if you start the game with your worst pitchers.
2006-09-20 14:37:30
90.   Bob Timmermann
Consistency matters.

Now don't make me go all Ralph Waldo Emerson on you....

2006-09-20 14:39:49
91.   Bob Timmermann
What about using a pinch hitter in the first inning of games on the road? Pushing the pitcher spot back at least one (you could seemingly replace whoever you wanted at the bottom of the inning).

The pitcher listed in the opening lineup has to pitch to one batter however.

2006-09-20 14:39:50
92.   Travis
85 87 The listed pitcher has to pitch to at least one batter.
2006-09-20 14:40:49
93.   Bob Timmermann
Lunchtime was over.
2006-09-20 14:41:19
94.   Travis
In an effort to distinguish my post from Bob's (who beat me by one second), here's the rule:

(a) The pitcher named in the batting order handed the umpire-inchief, as provided in Rules 4.01 (a) and 4.01 (b), shall pitch to the first batter or any substitute batter until such batter is put out or reaches first base, unless the pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the judgment of the umpire-in-chief, incapacitates him from pitching.

2006-09-20 14:43:50
95.   Daniel Zappala
OK, so have Julio Lugo throw up as soon as he takes the mound.
2006-09-20 14:49:27
96.   Sam DC
Talk about just sticking a body in there, Colo tried to get away with using one "Manny Corpas" to pitch in the 8th v. SF.

It did not go well.

2006-09-20 14:49:45
97.   Jon Weisman
95 - You've got a great Afterschool Special in the making.
2006-09-20 14:49:55
98.   Bluebleeder87


2006-09-20 14:50:24
99.   Jon Weisman
96 - Was it writ that they had to use Manny, and not his brother Habeus?
2006-09-20 14:50:38
100.   Bob Timmermann
To be fair, Manny Corpas has been one of Colorado's better relievers this year.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-09-20 14:52:10
101.   Sam DC
But has the Denver Post yet used the headline "Corpas Delecti!"
2006-09-20 14:53:17
102.   Bob Timmermann
Why would the Denver Post bother to cover the Rockies now that football season has started?
2006-09-20 14:56:12
103.   Sam DC
The Barry pinch hitting with the bases loaded at Coors.
2006-09-20 14:58:38
104.   Sam DC
RBI single, Durham thrown out at home trying to score a second run. Vizquel in to pinch run for Barry. Nothing like your 38 year-old runner.
2006-09-20 15:03:46
105.   Travis
104 A 38-year-old pinch-runner? That's nothing - 48-year-old Julio Franco pinch-ran in a game against the Braves this year, and promptly stole 2nd.

2006-09-20 15:05:04
106.   Sam DC
Ah, but Julio Franco is not 48, he's immortal.
2006-09-20 15:06:22
107.   caseybarker
49 Bugs Bunny made that catch on the top of a skyscraper. Also, he took a taxi. I can't recall if he had a sandwich.
2006-09-20 15:07:32
108.   Travis
106 Couldn't he be both 48 and immortal?
2006-09-20 15:08:18
109.   robohobo
107. Wasn't it the statue of liberty?
2006-09-20 15:11:06
110.   underdog
109 No, it was a building, the "Umpire State Building" to be exact.

I know my Bugs trivia!

2006-09-20 15:13:03
111.   Xeifrank
89. Later innings are always higher leverage unless you are mathematically eliminated from winning the game. :) A run scored in a tied game of the first inning has less effect on win expectancy than a run scored in a tied game in the 7th or 8th inning.

If you are going to use a Tomko, Sele or Biemel why not use them in a lower leverage situation? I understand your answer, and it makes sense. If your bullpen sucks and your starters don't pitch or aren't allowed to pitch deep into a game I'd rather have the better pitcher pitch the higher leverage innings and get the one extra non pitcher at-bat. vr, Xei

2006-09-20 15:16:15
112.   robohobo
110. Aahhh. The Umpire State Building! I have been there but they threw me out. And I thought it was safe. I think the employees were on strike. That didn't stop them from having a ball in the conference room.

Please stop me.

2006-09-20 15:16:49
113.   Bob Timmermann
The Statue of Liberty is in that same cartoon and makes some sort of inside 1940s joke that I never understood until I read the "Cahiers du Cinema" analysis of the cartoon.
2006-09-20 15:23:17
114.   Jon Weisman
111 - You're not getting an extra non-pitcher at-bat if your starter is still pitching five innings.

I just don't buy into a philosophy that assumes failure. Every Dodger starting pitcher averages about six innings. There is no game in which the use of a bad reliever is guaranteed. I don't know why you would want to ever guarantee their use.

2006-09-20 15:32:04
115.   underdog
112 One, two, three strikes you're out. One, two, three strikes you're out. {Repeat until you stop}
2006-09-20 15:36:13
116.   trainwreck
It is good to hear Peter Gammons again.
2006-09-20 15:38:08
117.   popup
101 Maybe the Rockies could trade Corpas to the Phillies so he could be a teammate of David Dellucci

Stan from Tacoma

2006-09-20 15:38:51
118.   Xeifrank
114. You are right there is no game that gaurantees the use of a pitcher other than A) The starter, B) Broxton or C) Saito. But that is ignoring the data from past games that we have before us. In 9 out of the last 10 games a pitcher other than those three has pitched and it wasn't in a Guo or Billingsley game, that's for sure. Perhaps if you read "The Numbers Game" book (i believe it is that book, can't swear to it) you can read it explained a little better than I can but I have listed the gist of it. If given a 90% chance that a pitcher other than A,B or C (listed above) is going to pitch then why not use him in a lower leverage situation. You will then be seeing Broxton coming in in a late inning jam rather than Dessens or Tomko coming in an inning earlier in the same jam. You may or may not get an extra non pitcher at-bat, but by pinch hitting for your pitcher the first time through your lineup, you are gauranteeing yourself a shot at it. I would much rather have one of our lesser talented pitchers pitch the first inning than come into a (1) bases loaded one out jam in the 6th inning of a one run game. Save the tough late inning situations for Broxton and Saito. vr, Xei

(1) Tuesday nights game Elmer Dessens relieves Guo.

2006-09-20 15:45:32
119.   robohobo
113. I remember that now. She says something at the end and I never understood it.

112. New strategy for the Dodgers;
Starting at First Base "Marlon Anderson"
Second Base "Marlon Anderson"
Third Base "Marlon Anderson"

2006-09-20 15:46:00
120.   Bluebleeder87

[GUO] please don't do that again.

2006-09-20 15:54:08
121.   Bob Timmermann
At the end one of the Gashouse Gorillas says "I'm out?" The Statue of Liberty turns around and says "That's what the man said, you heard what he said, he said that!"
2006-09-20 15:54:27
122.   underdog
118 I think I only like this philosophy if it involves Derek Lowe, who has done both starting and relieving effectively. But I'd rather just start Derek Lowe, have him pitch well for 7 innings, and then bring in Broxton and Saito for the hold and save. That hasn't always worked perfectly either.

THe thing this philosophy may not be taking into account is that a starting pitcher has a lot more leeway and time to warm up and get in the rhythm of a game, whereas if that same starter actually comes in mid-game (even if 2nd or 3rd) they wouldn't have the same opp. to get warm and in the flow. This is one reason why we've sometimes seen Sele struggle in relief when he hadn't as a starter.

On the other hand, Hendrickson sure did look better in relief this past weekend than he did as a starter, but that was not in a pressure situation.

2006-09-20 15:55:09
123.   Jon Weisman
Thread o' games is open.

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