Game 70 – Ollie is Gold; Jack-n-Freddy are Putrid
The Freddy and Jack Show is starting to look more and more like the Punch and Judy Show everyday.
In the last two games, these two guys have gotten four hits, been erased off the base paths in three of the four hits they got, made a throwing error that cost us one of the games, and was out of position on a critical play that ended up extending an inning that eventually cost us the second game.
In other words, they wiped 23% of all our base runners in the two-games on their own and each player’s defense significantly contributed to one of the losses.
I hear you.. Jose has been pretty bad too. You are right. So has Craig.. so has Bay. About the only two players I have seen hustling day-in and day-out are Jose Bautista and a semi-hurt Sean Casey, albeit Sean’s inability to bend in a stretch today probably helped cost the game Everybody else is playing lazy, confused, inattentive baseball for the most part.
Maybe Jack is pressing because he is batting .210/.234 in June? Maybe Freddy’s head is in the clouds because of the batting championship thing? Maybe Jose is reaching because he is hitting just .222 in June? I mean, almost half of the everyday players are heading for the Mendoza line so fast in June it isn’t funny.
Last year this team went 4-13 after Littlefield told the media June 13th he was going to be a seller at the trade deadline. This year he said basically the same thing on basically the same day and the team has gone 1-5 since his announcement. Deja Vu? Sure.. we have faced some good pitching lately but we also had most of the games won until our D collapsed, for the most part.
I’m sorry, but the Littlefield way isn’t working and I don’t care if he is around 100 years, his management style and capabilities will never produce a winner in Pittsburgh. He needs to be the first one canned.. and it better come pretty quick for the organization’s sake.
Ok – enough ranting. Today Perez pitched one of the best games I have seen from him in the last two years. He worked the plate up and down and side to side, he mixed his speeds well, and he kept the Twins batters off-balanced all day. He deserved to win. Unfortunately for Perez, his defense didn’t hold up for him.
In the video above you will see Sean Casey’s inability to stretch out for Jack’s wild throw to him in the 8th. There were two outs and the game was tied. If either Jack *or* Sean make this play, the inning is over. Once Castillo is on 1B, it is damage control time for Oliver when Punto takes advantage of a known Freddy Sanchez inability – fielding bunts. Not only does Perez not handle the bunt, but Freddy is nowhere to be seen – he should have been the one making this play but isn’t even the picture until Punto is one-third the way down the line – or more.
Then you will see Perez’s reaction in the dugout.
After Oliver was pulled, the circus act continued its tent work putting on show after show. Jose with another bad throw for the week, Vogelsong throwing high heat and the Twins teeing off on him, balls falling in all over the place.. the typical high wire act.
You have to wonder why Tracy leaves Casey out there late in close games when he isn’t 100%. I have to admit this is only the 4th time I have seen Sean not be able to make a relatively simple stretch for a throw off the bag, and the other three really didn’t impact the game, but this one did. If Tracy puts McLouth in RF as a defensive sub late, he should consider moving Craig to 1B until Sean is healthy.
Offensively we had a chance today but, ironically, both rallies in the 2cd and 3rd were killed by Freddy and Jack. Craig delivered an rbi single in the 4th and that was it until Bay went yard in the 9th. BTW, Bay’s HR was the first rbi by any of our 3-4-5 hitters since last weekend. *ouch*
– tidbits –
I have gained a lot of respect for Kevin McClatchy as a baseball fan for sitting behind the plate every day he can and watching his team take a beating over and over. I saw he was gone today while Perez pitched which now makes it 5 of the last 7 games McClatchy has not been behind the plate when Perez pitched. Two of the games were at CO and AZ so Kevin probably didn’t have the right to a seat behind the plate anyway.
Since Colborn pulled Perez out of the rotation after his May 5th start, Perez has pitched well in 5 of 7 starts. One of the two bad starts was the rain drenched, two hour plus delayed game June 2cd and the other bad start was in Colorado vs the Rockies. But in those 5 games, Perez’s GSc (Game Score) has been 54 or higher each outing which is very good. Bucco Blog revealed on June 8th a difference in Oliver’s mechanics and so far it is paying dividends for Perez. Kudos to Colborn.
Looking forward.. Kip pitches against the Royals Tuesday in KC. While Kip has done well (no pun intended) against the Royals batters that have seen him (.145/.211/.253 career vs Kip), Wells has not fared well at Kauffman Stadium, albeit he is 2-0. His career numbers there include a 7.62 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, 6 BB/9, and 11 runs in 13 innings of work. Small sample size alert, of course. He will be facing the one and only Mark Redman who Pirate batters tend to chew up and spit out, so Kip should have a good game. Good luck to you Kip.