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Saturday, October 04, 2003

THE BACKSEAT MANAGER

Is anybody else who watched the Marlins vs. Giants game today wondering why Felipe Alou didn't pitch run for J.T. Snow? I realize that Gallaraga pinch hit earlier in the game so he wouldn't have been available to replace Snow defensively but with your season hanging in the balance would you rather have Snow's Olerud-like speed or would you go with the much swifter Eric Young? I think I'd go with the latter and then worry later about which one of your infielders would take over 1st base. At the very least, J.T. Snow shouldn't have been waved home on that play.

And is it just me or did you feel like you were walking in on something when you were watching the Marlin's celebration? Well I guess that clears that up.

I'M SHOCKED! SHOCKED!

Jeez, it turns out Pedro "130" Martinez won't be available to pitch Game 4 after all. (That's curious because Tim "109" Hudson will be.)

Sorry. Not "not available". Pedro's available. Or at least "would have been available". They're just "saving" him for Game 5.

It's a brilliant plan, Grady. Down 0-2 and with no margin for error, the part about John Burkett going in Pedro's place is especially cunning.

It's a shame Lowe is already half-spent for Game 3.

"I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!"

Remember that moment in Zoolander when Will Ferrell wigs out because nobody else seems to notice that male supermodel Derek Zoolander's "looks" are all the same?

September 30, 2003
Wood--124 pitches

October 1, 2003
Martinez--130 pitches
Lowe--42 pitches (in relief--less than 3 days before his next start)

October 3, 2002
Prior--133 pitches

Not only is the same, but it's getting worse.

Has someone shortened the postseason and not told me? Because Dusty Baker and Grady Little are both treating their star starters like it's the deciding game of the World Series--undoubtedly hurting their chances of making it that far in the process.

From the inquiring minds at Prospectus:

Managers who allow pitchers to throw too many pitches in a start [over 121 pitches] may not be only jeopardizing that pitcher's future, but hurting his current team's chances at success as well. For the benefit of another half inning of work from a tired starter, a manager may be gambling with that pitcher's next 4 or 5 starts at the very least. [emphasis mine]
Hmmm... Another 4 or 5 starts is pretty much what the Cubs and Red Sox are probably hoping to get out of these guys on their way to the World Series.

Now, I know risk doesn't make it so, and Pedro, Kerry, Mark, and Derek may feel no ill effects over their next couple of starts. But pushing your starters like that to win the first and third games of the first playoff round seems like a pretty big gamble to me. And, besides, no matter how great his mechanics are, nobody should be treating a 22 year old pitcher like a workhorse. (Sorry, Will.)

So, to all the traditionalists fantasizing of a 1918 rematch, I offer a tentative Nelson Muntz "ha ha".

As for my dream series, Macha's holding up his end. He's been more economical with his efficient starters. Hudson tossed 109 in his first start, and Zito 113 in Game 2. Now with a day of rest for Foulke (and a 2-0 cushion over Boston in the series), I like Oakland's chances more and more.

On the other side of the bay, Schmidt also only threw 111 over nine innings on Tuesday's game. With the Giants now down 1 game to 2, I have to believe that Alou will push Williams and start Schmidt on short rest tomorrow.

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