Saturday, July 31, 2010

Game 104: if you can't throw strikes you can't close games

Last night's game ended with a thud in the top of the tenth when Cordero blew it. Cordero got two outs in the top of the ninth but just barely. (You'll recall that Brooks Conrad hit the grand slam walk-off (assist to Nix) that beat Cordero in Atlanta on May 20.) After the great catch, Heisey singled in the bottom of the ninth but couldn't get past second. So Cordero came out for the top of the tenth, a move that I applauded. No reason not to let him pitch the tenth (accept as outlined below).

In the tenth, Cordero got Infante to ground out, but then walked the eight hitter, Melky Cabrera. He struck out Matt Diaz (in the pitcher's spot) and then, inexplicably walked Prado to get to rookie sensation Jayson Heyward. (If you were at the game and saw Heyward you would not want to pitch to him.) Heyward, who had already doubled to left twice, predictably doubled to left. That was basically the game.

You'll recall that Cordero blew a save in Oakland where he gave up a home run to Kouzmanoff on the first pitch of the ninth inning (an opposite field shot down the right field line that barely went out). That wasn't so bad; people sometimes hit the ball. But then, after the Reds scored four in the tenth, Cordero came out and walked the first two guys he faced and was pulled. 27 walks in 47 innings (against only 40 k's) has lead to a 4.02 era. He does have 27 saves in 33 chances, but that stat really belongs to Dusty for continuing to trot Cordero out there. I think it's time to give Rhodes a few save chances. Where is it written you have to go 7-8-9 with your relievers every game. Let Cordero pitch some in the 7th and 8th until he stops walking guys. Then he can close again.


Little Z said...

CoCo must go go.

Jim Zahniser said...

Dave, that makes sense - to have him work the 7th and 8th and let someone else close, until Cordero gets his closer mojo back.

What do you think about the Phillips/Molina blow-up and the Cardinals' domination of the current series?