Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Z wuz robbed

A couple of brief pitching-related thoughts for today:

- We need to go back to the days where the Official Scorer is given more leeway as to the determination of the winning pitcher.  Much has been said about how hard it is to win 20 games anymore, and certainly the five-man rotation is the biggest culprit.  (Now that I am writing this, I should have tried to find an article on how the five-man came to be - I suspect it came from Earl Weaver - and I bet it was probably because he HAD five quality starters, and wanted to use them all, and the rest of the league, as it always does, simply mimics the successful teams without considering whether or not they had five pitchers worth the consideration).

And we have seen plenty of games like yesterday's, where the bullpen blows a lead, and in fact the man responsible for coughing up the lead ends up being "rewarded" with the W when his own team comes back. 

Although coming out of a game after 5 innings and 82 pitches is the antithesis of what a warrior should be, fact is that Zambrano, not Gaudin, deserved the win yesterday.  If Zambrano ends up with 18 or 19 wins this year, I am going to remember the August 3rd game.  I know in the past, the official scorer had the ability to deny the win that automatically went to Gaudin, in favor of rewarding the pitcher who "was most effective".  I don't remember if this applied just to relievers, or if starters were ever part of the equation, but Z got screwed out of a win here.

I understand we're just talking baseball card stats, but it just seems so unfair.

- Mr. Wood got on the radio today and proclaimed himself ready for action, tonight, if need be.  He also reveals that he has declined the opportunity to rehab in the minors, which in the past was something he readily accepted.  Peoria and Des Moines know him well.

Part of his new attitude may be due to his new role - since he is now responsible for only one inning, he feels he can get back in touch as a middle-inning guy for a few days.  Part may also be due to the recent showing by Alfonso Soriano - with very minimal minor league rehab, and a few initial days of struggle, he has come back hotter than ever.

I'm not sure, though, that this is going to be as easy as Kerry thinks.  First of all, the move will require that someone else either moves down, or out.  I'm not sure what purpose in life Scott Eyre serves on this team, and I think Mr. Bob Howry could use some downtime.  But either one MAY be more effective at this point than Bandaid Kerry.  Regardless, someone will have to go, which when taken into consideration with the imminent return of Jon Lieber, is going to require some tough choices, which you'd like to hold off on until everyone involed is completely ready.

Second, and in my mind most importantly is I do not believe that Carlos Marmol will be able to function in the closer role if Wood is on the roster.  Even if Wood has already pitched or is otherwise made unavailable on a particular game, I can see this flying apart badly.  So much of Marmol's game is necessitated on his intense concentration on EACH pitch he throws, and I can see Wood's mere presence as a distraction as Marmol tries to get the three biggest outs of each game. 

It's illogical as hell, I know.  I can't throw up any stats or cite too many examples where this has happened.  Let's just stick this idea in the back of your mind; and if Wood comes back for the StL series as a middle reliever, and Marmol comes in for a save but is not focused, let's just chalk this up to another example of the Big League Athletes and Their Dependence on Knowing Their Roles theorem. 

I'm pretty sure that the official scorer gets discretion...

...only in the event that the starter fails to go five innings; then the reliever who he feels performed the best is awarded the win.

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