Sunday, August 21, 2005

Jeff Weaver On Stilts

Here's what I wrote yesterday regarding today's matchup.....

Randy Johnson vs Jose Contreras. Why does this feel like a bigtime trap game for the Yankees? Randy needs to come up big right now. Particularly against a team scuffling like Chicago. Put your knee on their neck and apply pressure. Don't give them a second to breathe. Put the pressure on Jose to throw perfect ptiches and hope he cracks. With Oakland playing KC, we can't expect any help in the wildcard right now. So the standings will probably remain the same there. The Sux are playing the Angels, but unless we go on a long win streak and they completely collapse, you can't expect to gain any more than a game or two a week if you're lucky. The short term goal has to be the wildcard for the Yanks. Then you can focus on the division because you're probably only a game or two out. Crawl before you walk. Walk before you run.

When it comes to seeing into the future, It looks like Metstradamus has nothing on Darth Marc.
Here's Randy Johnson's line for today's start vs the Chi-Sox.

Johnson (L, 11-8) 8.0IP 10H 6R 6ER 0BB 8K 4HR 4.34 ERA

An ace's stats? Not even close. Heck, if I didn't know any better, I'd have thought that Jose Contreras was still pitching for us. Whoops! I forgot, Contreras was the one that pitched this line vs the Yanks today.

8.0IP 11H 2R 1ER 0BB 5K 0HR 4.08 ERA

To add insult to injury, the guy we trade Contreras for, Esteban Loaiza, beats Kris Benson to prevent the Nats from getting swept. Hindsight is 20/20, but Loaiza would look pretty good as a four or five starter for us right about now, huh?

Cashman and company traded for Johnson for moments like this. A chance to put the dagger into the enemy's heart, look them in the eye and turn the blade slowly. Watch as the life in their eyes slowly fades away. Not only would we have swept the best team in the AL and continued their slide. We would have possibly demoralized a potential playoff opponent and given themselves a psychological edge the next time we play. Instead we squander our chance and split a season series we should have won.

Pitches well for most of the game, then unravels after a couple of bad pitches. Randy has more resembled Jeff Weaver than the Big Unit of old. Nasty stuff for most of the game. Then, out of nowhere, falls apart. That's why Weaver never became an ace. The inability to get out of tight spots,, allowing the damage to snowball. Pitching just well enough to lose. If I didn't know better, I'd have thought Weaver was pitching today on stilts with a fake porn star mustache.

I've argued in the past with Infidel death row inmate, Metstradamus, about his characterization of Kris Benson's past performances as Ace-Like. I acknowledged that Benson has been pitching well, but his efforts have been just short of ace-like. A good number two or three? Absolutely. But just short of an ace. Pedro as an ace? Absolutely. Benson. Not quite.

But at least the Mutts have Pedro. We don't have an ace on our staff. Not a one. We have a bunch of threes, fours and fives. Moose has pitched well. But he's not an ace. Neither is Chacon, Wright or Leiter. They pitch just well enough to keep you in the game, but they don't dominate. Moose and Chacon pitched well on Friday and Saturday, but this Sox team is still scuffling in the worst way despite their sixth inning explosion today. They did what you're supposed to do against teams that can't hit. Put your knee on their necks and crush their windpipes. Then the ace comes in and decapitates them. Buries the head in someone's yard and cremates the body. Just to make sure they're dead. They don't allow six inning explosions.

I thought that Johnson might have been tipping his pitches or maybe Ozzie was stealing signs. It still shouldn't matter. Even if you know what was coming, you still have to hit it. Willie Mays once said that he even though he knew what Sandy Koufax was throwing, he still couldn't hit it. That's how nasty he was. Johnson is essentially a two pitch pitcher, Fastball and slider. If he's on, they could be telepathic and still not hit him. That's what an ace is. He says, here's my best stuff, I DARE YOU TO HIT IT. The way the Sox were struggling, there's no excuse why Johnson should have allowed an inning like the fourth to snowball out of control. One homer? Maybe. Four? Inexcusable.

At least he pitched a complete game and gave the pen an extra day's rest. Thank goodness for small favors. But Boston just beat Anaheim, so we're four games out again. We come home for a tough series vs Toronto, who just got swept by Detroit and are struggling to stay in pennant/wildcard race. Wright pitches tommorow at the Stadium. Hopefully, his start vs Tampa was a sign of things to come.


Blogger Metstradamus said...

Nothing on Darth Marc?

Wrong again.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

I read it....I'm still more powerful than you infidel....

2:37 AM  

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