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.)