Reverend Redbird

Preaching the Gospel of St. Louis Cardinal Baseball

Don’t Boo Izzy

Posted by The Right Reverend on April 14, 2006

"I stink right now, that's the bottom line."-Jason Isringhausen.

Things have been tough all over for Izzy this week, as he's given up two home runs this week at the worst possible times. Izzy was met with a chorus of boos as he left the game today, and while I don't find it fitting for the "best fans in baseball" I can understand the frustration. (Side note:See Matt Leach's blog post on the booing issue. I love Leach, but doesn't he remember the booing of Edgar and Tino last season? It's not unprecedented.) Anyway, if it was just the home run given up today, that would be one thing. But I think Izzy wasn't just drawing the ire of the fans for today's game, but the bitterness of getting swept by the Cubs in embarrassing fashion on national television still is lingering.

But I don't like the booing still, as Izzy seems to be sincerely pitching his heart out and has for the Cardinals since 2002. He's brought a consistency that was lacking for some time. (Remember the Dave Veres days or worse the Ricky Bottalico days?) I know we as fans have a "what have you done for me lately?" mentality and lately Izzy has stunk. He's the first to admit that. But right now, he is our closer, and has been a fine one and I don't expect him to fall of a cliff a la Keith Foulke last season.

I don't expect Izzy to be dominant, however, either. For starters, his walk rate ballooned last year to 4.12 per 9. His K per 9 rate has steadily declined each year. His FIP (fielding independent pitching) ERA of 3.78 was vastly disproportionate to his ERA of 2.14, and his high LOB% of 87% reeks of luck.

Don't get me wrong, I still think he can be solid even considering his terrible performances this week, but just prepare yourself for more "hiccups" throughout the duration of his contract, which could be until 08 if the Cardinals decide to pick up his option. And please, be classy and don't boo when they happen. (You can, however, hope that Jocketty and Co. can take a page out of the A's and Red Sox book, and maybe draft a young stud college closer.)

5 Responses to “Don’t Boo Izzy”

  1. CalvinPitt said

    Let the record show I am no more frustrated with Izzy now, than normal. Of course that’s because I’ve been sick of his high-wire shenanigans since the beginning.

    I seem to recall Dave Veres being pretty solid in 2000. Now 2001, when he lost confidence in his splitter is another matter. Maybe it’s because I’m comparing Veres to what was available the previous two seasons (Brantley and Bottalico).

    As for booing Izzy, I don’t think that just because people like to say we’re “the best fans in baseball” that means we aren’t allowed to express displeasure. I enjoy Cardinals games, but I enjoy them more when they win, rather than when Izzy walks two people on eight straight balls, then gives up a grand slam, or grooves one to Carlos Lee.

    And the fact that he’s been like this since he got here, and probably even before (I’m not knowledgable about Izzy’s Oakland days), and can’t seem to change to where he can be an efficient pitcher, is just a constant aggravation.

  2. I guess my issue with the booing is that what Izzy has given to the fans far outweighs the bad. He’s been a solid closer since coming here, even if he seems to load the bases before he gets the last out.

    If he wasn’t trying or acting like a jerk to the media and fans, I’d understand that. But Izzy’s been a class act since he’s been here.

    We aren’t Yankee fans, so why should we act like them?

  3. Balkroth said

    I think the main problem is that most Cardinals fans have never trusted Izzy when he was brought into the game. I saw this first hand at my families Easter gathering today, where everyone was constantly ripping on Izzy, and saying they never liked him in the first place.

    This caused me to be in an awkward position, I usually am one to rip into Izzy for his secondary stats, but he is still an above average pitcher. I think MGL (Michael Ligchtman *I know I spelt the last name wrong) brought up a fantastic point on BTF, both about Izzy, and even more specifically the correct management stratagies.

    “The chance of a good or bad pitcher having a terrible or great 3 or 4 games is about equal. What does that tell you?

    It is unfortunate that when a manager tries doing something *good* but a little unorthodox, that if it doesn’t work out, he quickly abandons it. Sad actually.

    He should simply say, “I will continue to bring him in anytime the game is on the line (high leverage situations) and I am sure he’ll be fine. He is our best pitcher in the pen, he is our ace and our closer, and I have all the confidence in the world that whenever he is called on to pitch, be it the 8th or 9th innings, a tie game, a lead, or one run down, he will pitch well. All pitchers, good or bad, go through periods of time when they stink and when they are lights out, for some reason or for no reason at all. Issy is no exception. That is especially true when you are “on stage” for only one and occasionally two innings at a time. Any more questions?”

    Is that so hard?”

  4. And don’t boo Encarnacion, either.

  5. I won’t boo Encarnacion, but I don’t have to like him! lol

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