Monday, August 06, 2007

Monday Notes

While reports in this space of the Philllies' demise may have been premature, only the timing was off. Inevitably, the more they keep sending out Adam Eaton, Kyle Lohse, Tom Gordon, Geoff Geary, and Jose Mesa the more likely they will be making a collective quick right turn toward the dugout in early October.

Yesterday's down-to-their last strike 9th inning rally and extra-innings win was satisfying turn-about is fair play, but truth be told I missed every bit of it having abandoned the game early after Adam Eaton surrendered four quick runs before I'd even had a chance to settle in to the couch. In a post over at Beerleaguer, commenter extraordinaire RSB predicted Eaton's post-game response prior to the miserable reality:

(RSB) Adam Eaton is already devising his postgame comments. "I just can't explain it." "Maybe they should start the game in the second inning." "It's very frustrating, I know I can pitch better." "Sometimes you have to give the other team the credit." "I felt like I made some good pitches there, it just didn't work out."

(From the Inquirer) What is it?" he asked. Why has he pitched so terribly early in nearly every start?

"Maybe more conviction," Eaton told reporters of a possible solution. "Maybe that's not the right word. . . . You're there, then settle in. Maybe just get after it in the first inning, then settle in. I don't know if that's right or not. I'm thinking out loud to you guys."

Advice to RSB: Run, don't walk, to your nearest lottery vendor.

Years ago the Orioles' great lefthander Mike Cuellar went through a stretch during which he surrendered a lot of first-inning runs. His solution was to warm up longer than usual in the bullpen, hoping to leave that first inning there. By the time he took the mound, he'd thrown so many warm-up pitches he considered the official start to be the second inning, not the first. It worked. Eaton might try the same tactic, especially since unlike Cuellar, no one expects Eaton or anyone else these days to go more than five or six official innings anyway.

* * * * * * * *

Three milestones were reached this weekend but only one, Tom Glavine's 300th win, was satisfying. I need not say anything more about Bonds; readers know my feelings about him. A-Rod's 500th home run was more news in New York than around the nation. Glavine's success, however, should be encouraging to all those pitchers out there who don't possess Nolan Ryan's fastball, Steve Carlton's slider or Sandy Koufax's curve; in other words, to nearly all pitchers. Glavine simply knows how to pitch. He has made a great career out of mixing up his pitches, pinpoint control and, yes, helping himself out with a base hit. Last night he drove in the first run of the game with a single. Hat's off to Glavine.

(Glavine's milestone win came in his third attempt. Yesterday, in the NY Times, George Vecsey wrote a wonderful piece on Early Wynn, who more than three decades earlier struggled mightily to win his 300th game.)


David said...

Prescient? Hardly - Eaton's been fumbling around with these kinds of quotes after each moribund start this year. I was just expecting more of the same, and there it was.

Somewhat grudging congratulations to Glavie, who's pitched forever on NL East teams and beaten the Phillies more than anyone else. He's to be commended for having mastered his craft for so long, but he's always made baseball look like such a rigid, joyless exercise.

Tom Goodman said...

I don't disagree with your last comment, but the lack of emotion doesn't diminish his accomplishment.