Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 22, 2008
BASEBALL: Welcome To The Doghouse

I believe tonight's game officially ends the honeymoon for Jerry Manuel. The manager can't be blamed for his closer not being available, but there will be a lot of questions about why Johan Santana wasn't left in to finish the game with a 3-run lead after throwing 105 pitches, instead letting three middle relievers (Sanchez, Smith and Feliciano) blow the lead.

I still maintain that I trust Heilman more than I trust Sanchez.

UPDATE: This was not as excruciating a loss as some of the losses last fall, if only because the circumstances are not as dire. But combined with the narrow escape in the last game of the last Phillies series, it was pretty horrible, just one of those endings that leaves you gaping in shock that this actually happened.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:01 PM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

And for every Met fan who constantly complains about Billy Wagner: See.

Posted by: crankycon at July 22, 2008 10:24 PM

I blame whoever called the changeup to Dobbs after he was late on 3 consecutive fastballs.

Posted by: Rusty S. at July 22, 2008 10:26 PM


Posted by: Luis Venituccci at July 22, 2008 10:35 PM

Meanwhile back in Gotham City, the Yankees won their fifth in a row with a two run double by Derek Jeter and a dinger by Bobby Abreu sweeter than candy. And our bull pen was great. All is right with the world.

Posted by: trooper york at July 23, 2008 2:14 AM

Manuel claimed in the post-game press conference that one reason he pulled Santana was because he never went over 100 pitches with the Twins.

If anyone gives a crap, I've thoroughly debunked that one. He pretty much made it up.

Posted by: Mike at July 23, 2008 7:43 AM

Painful, and we have Maine limping into tonight's game. Jerry talks too much, will bite him eventually. Making stuff up, gangsta, fertilizer; when the media honeymoon ends they will torch him.

Posted by: abe at July 23, 2008 7:47 AM

Check out how the Mets have done this season in the later innings:

They can't hit crappy relievers and their pen is a failure.

Can anyone find the double plays for and against for this season?

Posted by: Zufall at July 23, 2008 9:00 AM

I didn't see the game (as I was watching a much better one going on in the Bronx), but I heard Manuel's comments on WFAN this morning. His argument was "I thought he had thrown enough pitches," which is pretty lame. A good reason would have been, "He was getting outs, but he was throwing pitches up in the zone, which is clear sign of fatigue." But given all of your comments, he was apparently pitching well at the time.

Posted by: MVH at July 23, 2008 9:21 AM

I heard about this unravelling during the A's game last night. It sounded ugly, and I was 3000 miles away. As a fan, I am extremely frustrated by push button managers who remove pitchers who are doing fine, and then keep sending in new relevers until they finally find someone to blow the game.

I understand the concept of situational pitching (lefties against lefties and all of that), but is there a manager anywhere who can resist the temptation to make constant and debatable changes all to fit some magical formual hatched in their office? How about the pitching coach? He should be able to tell if the guy who is in still has it or not. If the pitches are up, or hanging, whatever, OK, yank him. Otherwise, relax, and let the guy throw. If a manager has that little confidence, maybe he shouldn't be in the rotation, and that sure doesn't describe Santana.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at July 23, 2008 2:16 PM

Heilmann is a better pitcher than Sanchez but Heilmann is also able to throw multiple innings at a time, which is a solid reason to keep him out of the closer's role.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at July 23, 2008 2:27 PM

Mike, when he pulled Santana, I knew there would be problems. And if Wagner was there, it still would have gone south. He's never demonstrated an ability to NOT be Armando Benitez to me.

That said, had he stayed with Santana, and the game was lost, the arguments would have been otherwise. I'm pretty sure as a fan I'm taking it harder than the players.

Want pitchers to last longer? Easy. Take a full damn windup, getting your butt and hips into the pitch. Those are large muscles and can take the stress better. No, my mistake, Seaver, Gibson and Carlton clearly knew nothing about pitching.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at July 23, 2008 7:08 PM

Take a full damn windup, getting your butt and hips into the pitch. Those are large muscles and can take the stress better.

Blame the slide-step. No doubt the slide-step has curbed the running game over the last 20 years, but as to the main goal of getting batters out . . .

Suffice to say, the ability to control the running game hasn't hurt Maddux or Randy Johnson too much.

The decline of Dwight Gooden had many, many factors (see too many pitches before 21st birthday; cocaine; straight fastball that guys learned to lay off of, etc.), but Stottlemeyer's insistence that he learn the slide step to cut down the running game surely didn't help.

Posted by: Mike at July 24, 2008 7:53 AM
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