|10-21-2002, 11:08 AM||#1|
NetShrine All-Century Team
I may have had nothing to talk about yesterday - and in the way of injury news, I don't have much today - but wow. In what will surely be remembered as a great game in what will likely be a great series, Game Two lived up to every bit of hype. We had bad pitching live up to everything Tim McCarver said, we had great bullpen pitching from such non-household names as Chad Zerbe and the suddenly famous Francisco Rodriguez, and home runs o' plenty. Barry Bonds vs. Troy Percival was a one-punch knockout and I'll agree with Tim Salmon - that was the farthest I've ever seen a ball hit. Was it just me or did that ball NOT come down? Sure, it ended up being meaningless but if you want a moment to play on highlight reels, that might be the one we see of Barry Bonds in a few years as he enters the Hall of Fame.
Let's go with the injury news first. Garrett Anderson is dealing with a "tight" hamstring, which explains some of his baserunning in Game One. Anderson should have been able to score on a play, but his hamstring apparently tightened up as he ran. The injury will likely continue to bother him throughout the series. Kenny Lofton is also dealing with some soreness in his legs. There were a couple shots of Lofton limping as he decelerated, but it didn't appear to hamper him greatly.
Troy Glaus was able to continue after landing on a thrown ball during the game. It is unclear exactly how he was injured - let's all hope he was wearing a cup - but drop your entire body weight down on a ball and it's sure to cause some discomfort. Glaus showed no ill effects through the game, but he likely has some soreness or bruising that may affect his running and lateral mobility some.
I don't have any information on this and I don't see the Angels enough to make a good judgement, but either Benji Molina is the slowest man in baseball by three or four steps or his knees are bothering him. Molina has caught a very heavy load through the playoffs, but again, I don't have any basis for comparison.
One has to be reminded of Fernando Valenzuela or even Pedro Martinez when Francisco Rodriguez takes the mound. He dominated again last night and I am beginning to wonder if we're not looking at the next Mariano Rivera, but instead, the next Pedro. Rodriguez did start in the minors and with his pure filth, there's no reason to not try and make him a starter that I'm aware of. One site compares Rodriguez to Chan Ho Park which is a bit interesting. Park is a great physical pitcher who we'll remember more for his bad year now rather than his potential he had coming up. One thing that worries me about Rodriguez, beyond his age, is what I've seen in a couple shots, including a slo-mo last night. (Let me put in another plug for Tivo here. As much as I loved this gadget before, its become indispensible for the playoffs. Get one!) Rodriguez appears to have a great deal of flexibility in his pitching shoulder and the joint itself appears to slam forward as he follows through. As I'm sure you all know, the muscles that decelerate the arm and would be taking the brunt of this force would be the rotator cuff. I'm hoping one of UTK's scout friends will come through with some better video of this, but it is something to keep your eye on long term. With his performance this off-season, even with an unclear role for '03, Rodriguez will likely go high in many leagues next year.
I'm beginning to think that Mike Scioscia is a bit more "book" than many of us thought. He's winning and winning tends to make you look smart, so I'm going to hold on to my vote for Manager of the Year as Art Howe over Scioscia. I will say that Scioscia's move of dropping in John Lackey for 32 pitches was smart. If Game Two was lost, Lackey's start in Game Four was going to be nearly moot. Lackey is still expected to start on Wednesday. Rany Jazayerli pointed out in his in-game chat last night that pre-1960, making a move like this wouldn't have been news, it would have been routine. Sadly, pitchers and pitching coaches have bought into the idea that they must be babied so it will be interesting to see how Lackey recovers on two days rest. Scioscia may have to ride his bullpen a bit harder than he wants to in Game Four - the question is how will it affect its usage in Games Three and Five.
When Jeff Kent comes to bat, he gets taken to task for his lack of RBIs. I won't go all sabermetric on you and discuss the merits of RBIs, but I do notice that Rich Aurilia has a load of RBIs and when he comes to bat, he gets a lot of credit for having a great post-season. If Aurilia is driving people in, doesn't that mean there are fewer people on base for Kent to drive in? I realize Kent isn't having a great post-season (661 OPS), but you can't have it both ways. I wish I had LOB stats to work with, but there's no source I have with that info.
Maybe Barry Bonds isn't a team leader, but did you notice he was the only guy who would sit next to Russ Ortiz after his horrendous first inning? If we're going to erase his "choker" label - the one he really didn't deserve - why don't we try to blast his image as a bad guy away so that more people can enjoy what just may be the best player many of us will ever see.
I'll be back after Game Three with more Playoff UTK and news tonight if warranted.
According to Peter Gammons, "There is no greater baseball tool than Lee Sinins' Baseball Sabermetric Encyclopedia. Get thee to Baseball Immortals and order the disc, haste post haste." The product Jayson Stark called "the best invention since the toaster oven!" has gotten even more powerful. Will Carroll says "buy it and thank me later." The SBE is almost as cool as Tivo and much less expensive. Sure, you can't keep the last four episodes of The Sopranos on it, but for baseball information and research, there's no better tool.
UTK available only at www.baseballprospectus.com
"I was pulling for Pete and agreeing with (commissioner) Bud Selig that Pete should be eligible for the Hall of Fame," said Giles, now chairman of the Phillies. "Bud was close to making him eligible right after his meeting with Pete (November 2002). Right after that, Pete got into tax trouble (in California), and that delayed the process."
- Phillies Chairman Bill Giles in the Dayton Daily News, January 25th, 2004.
|10-21-2002, 11:33 AM||#2|
Runners LOB - Postseason
NM - T
JK - 9
RA - 12
LOB - World Series - Game 1, 2
NM - T - 1 2
JK - 2 - 1 1
RA - 2 - 1 1
LOB - NLCS - Game 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
NM - T - 1 2 3 4 5
JK - 4 - 0 1 2 0 1
RA - 3 - 0 0 3 0 0
LOB - NLDS - Game 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
NM - T - 1 2 3 4 5
JK - 3 - 0 1 0 0 2
RA - 7 - 1 1 1 1 3
|10-21-2002, 04:10 PM||#3|
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Studio City, Ca.
I think Molina's hurt. He's slow but this is ridiculous.
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