Monday, May 01, 2006

The Long And Short Of It

Apparently, all it took was a little hair off the ears.
A newly shorn Gavin Floyd pitched 6.2 innings Sunday allowing a solo homerun as the Phillies avoided a sweep in Pittsburgh by defeating the Pirates 5 – 1.
Call it greater confidence if you will, or better mechanics if you must, but don’t call it better command.  Floyd allowed eleven base runners during his stint, walking five and surrendering six hits.  Give the youngster some credit for mixing up his pitches more effectively than during any other start this season and rejoice that he had his curve and changeup working more today than in the past.
Floyd wanted to go out there and think less and pitch more and he succeeded to a greater extent than any other start this season.  But in the end let’s give credit where it’s due:  Floyd’s barber.  He lightened the load upstairs.

In other news….
Pat Burrell was named Chevrolet Player of the Game (you were expecting a generic winner???) for driving in two runs including a solo home run leading off the second inning, but the at-bat that sticks with me came in the top of the fourth inning when Burrell struck out looking with the bases loaded.  Burrell never took the bat off his shoulder the entire AB.  I cannot imagine a player failing to swing in that situation but Burrell managed it.  Incredible.


Tom Durso said...

I know that Pat's numbers rebounded last year, but he has to be among the most flawed 100-RBI hitters in baseball. I know, I know -- typical Philly response, abusing the guy with the good numbers. But still.

Tom Goodman said...

That is the tricky part about Burrell. He appears to be an almost pure guess hitter if there is such a thing. I cannot figure out how someone can go up to the plate in the situation referred to above and not take a swing. If that sort of question is considered abuse, too bad.

George S said...

Jeesh, when I pointed out that I just couldn't understand the team's #1 power hitter and RBI man striking out with the bases loaded without ever even swinging at one pitch, it started a 35-comment debate on Burrell over at Beerleaguer.(and the third strike was not with a full count)
That was my entire comment regarding Burrell, but many readers took it as a personal attack, as blaming him for the Phillies' W-L record, and for forgetting that he already had 2 rbis in the game.

Nunez did nothing today that makes me think he shouldn't be starting at 3B.
Someone had made the comment that the problem with the Phillies bench is that they filled it with everyday players, players that need to play to be effective. I think that is definitely the case with Nunez and Delucci.

Tom Goodman said...

George: Great minds think alike. Burrell is a real enigma to me. To some extent I assume all batters are guess hitters now and then, but when someone comes up in that situation and never swings you have to wonder what is he doing...other than looking for a certain pitch and, apparently, never getting it.

J. Weitzel said...

Why not toss Gonzalez into that group of bench players who need to play every day. He started 90+ games at third last season. So far, he's 1-18 and made a pretty dumb error yesterday at 3B.

Rev. Smokin Steve said...

Pat Burrell looked at a called third strike with the bases loaded? You don't say.

It surprises me just as much as hearing the sun may set in the west tomorrow.

RickSchuBlues said...

Perhaps this is the blog I should be posting on. At Beerleaguer I am more or less reviled for daring to throw any criticism at Burrell.

Tom Goodman said...

I am not sure how Burrell went from whipping boy to sacred cow in one season. Certainly, he recovered dramatically during last season and is off to a good start this year, but without the hard numbers in front of me it often seems he produces a lot of soft RBI's and fails to deliver clutch hits. I forget who it was who posted something recently about clutch ratings. It might have been on ESPN's site. The ratings were surprising.