Where for Art Thou, Looper?
Posted by The Right Reverend on April 10, 2006
Here’s why I don’t like the Hold stat. Ricky Rincon did a fine job of striking out Juan Pierre with runners in scoring position to get the Cardinals out of the bottom of the 7th. As a reward, the lefty Rincon is allowed to face the lefty Todd Walker, who he proceeded to walk on 4 straight pitches. (ARGH!) LaRussa then proceeds to give the ball to Izzy who walks Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez, loading the bases. (ARGH!)Then he allows a grand-slam to Michael Barrett and the game was pretty much over from there. (TIME TO SCREAM AT THE TV AND KICK THE CAT!)(Sorry for recalling the grim details, I’m sure we all remember)
Yet Rincon still gets credited to hold, yet he pretty much opened the flood gates by not being able to locate four straight pitches to Todd Walker! That leaves Izzy with a really tough job. You should be able to call on the best pitcher in your bullpen no matter what the situation or the inning to do his job, but Izzy seemingly wanted no piece of Lee, and struggled with his command with Ramirez. A recipe for disaster.
I just want to know, where was Looper? We get it Tony, he had a crummy spring and is recovering from a rep of blowing it, but why sign him for 3years, $13.5 mil if you’re not going to make him do his job? Just a couple of games ago, Looper was sharp, throwing 22 pitches, 15 for strikes, getting 5 ground-ball outs. A double play would’ve worked wonders in that situation, and Looper’s propensity for ground balls is what drew the Cardinals to him in the first place.
Instead, we see a lack of trust which led to the game being sabotaged. Then in the paper I read that LaRussa and Dunc are still trying to work out what roles each reliever belongs in early in this season. Well, I guess they are learning from the school of hard knocks right now. I’m just an idiot writing a blog with too much time on my hands, but here’s my recommendation-
- The “Cal Eldred” role-Josh Hancock. Great spring and all, but I just don’t trust him with too many innings or in high-leverage situations.
- The “Ray King” role-Ricardo Rincon. I have little faith in the short and stocky Mexicano and would prefer to see him only face one batter and get the heck out of the game, preferably in lower-leverage roles. Or more preferably, I’d like to see him traded to a la King if Ty Johnson can prove he’s ready for the majors.
- The “Randy Flores” role-Randy Flores. I like him as the high-leverage LOOGY, he throws strikes and seems to handle pressure well.
- The “Brad Thompson” role-Brad Thompson. I like him in the 6th or 7th when you need grounders. I’m open to him getting more innings, but he’s going to have to make sure he keeps the ball down, unlike he did against D Lee this weekend.
- The “Al Reyes” role-Adam Wainwright. He has confidence and a mean curveball. He can get the K.
- The “Crazy Hoolie” role-Looper. You paid him to set up, now just let him.
LaRussa and Dunc know their job WAY more then I do, this is just how I see it.