Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Deja vu all over again

The Cincinnati Reds' collective manhoods exploded all over the Cubs today. Seven home runs through the first six innings (three of them by Joey "better than Garko" Votto). The Reds were up 7-0 after five and 9-0 after six.

Considering that this game was basically over after five innings, you can imagine my surprise when I saw that Edinson [sic] Volquez was left in to complete the seventh frame. He threw 118 pitches, giving him the following pitch counts through the last five games: 118/100/104/105/112. He's thrown fewer than 95 pitches in a start once this year.

In today's era of 12 or 13-man pitching staffs, it seems inexplicable to me that a manager would leave a young, promising starter in so long when the outcome is no longer in question. It's been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that pitch counts correlate with arm/shoulder injuries and that the majority of the damage is sustained during the last 10-15% of pitches thrown (after the player's mechanics break down due to fatigue).

Dusty Baker, as we all know, is at the helm of the Reds. Woe unto all young pitchers who fall into his clutches. What happened with Edinson [sic] today seems strangely familiar. Oh wait, it's almost the exact same fact pattern as the October 8, 2003 NLCS start by Mark Prior. Chicago scored eight runs in the first three innings. (I might have yanked him right there, considering how he'd already been abused for the first six months of the year.) By the sixth inning, it was 12-2.

Prior was left out there to throw 115 pitches over seven innings. He actually came out for the eighth, but after allowing two base runners, was mercifully pulled. I remember Dusty Baker's idiocy as though it were yesterday. I remember thinking: "I'm glad I owned Mark Prior this year, because he's not pitching 200 innings next season." Little did I know ...

I can't believe that someone in the Reds organization didn't print out that game log, a list of Mark Prior's injuries from 2004 onwards, and anonymously forward them to the team's owner prior to Dusty's hiring.


Bob Taylor said...

The [sic]s make me laugh.

Guancous said...

Dusty Baker is like a senator who still doesn't believe in global warming.