If, time and again, I can forgive Gavin Floyd for being, well, Gavin Floyd and occasionally forgetting how to pitch, I can forgive Sergio Santos for tonight’s outing (and probably a few more besides) – as painful as it was. It happens to everyone, eventually. It’s going to take more than that for me to start worrying when I see him warming up in the ‘pen. Sometimes, it is just not your day.
Which, yes, tonight’s loss was kind of all-around painful (I guess I have gotten more used to winning lately than I realized. Winning is fun! Can you blame me?), but it also highlighted a few of the things that have been bothering me this season.
Most notably, I am now going to take the opportunity to whine about the thing that is currently bothering me the most. So much so that I don’t even have to think twice about trying to come up with the thing that is currently bothering me the most. :p (The remainder of this post is brought to you by the fact that a friend of mine texted me to inform me that tonight’s game was the free mlb.tv game of the day and I caught the middle 75% of the game at work. Free mlb! A mixed blessing tonight, I think. :) )
Warning: You are about to enter a free-for-all whining zone. Proceed at your own risk.
The pitch counter. Everyone needs to stop looking at the pitch counter. Particularly with the starters. We have a 6-man rotation. We’re not following the rules, SO WHY IS EVERYONE WHO CALLS THE SHOTS MARRIED TO THE PITCH COUNTER? I don’t understand.
Does it matter so much if someone throws 120 pitches when he gets 5 days of rest instead of 4? Pitching is so much a mental game that I just don’t understand when someone is in a groove, throwing well (like tonight, with Humber and then with Crain), that we automatically can’t send them out in the 8th inning? The whole ‘We have a set-up man. We must use him’ mentality. What would happen if the pitcher feels good and wants to go out and finish (more of, if not the whole, job) and the coaches just let him? Now, when everyone in the starting rotation gets an extra day off, is the time to try.
Or, conversely, when (like tonight, with Santos, or Gavin’s start against Oakland last week) nothing is going right and the pitcher’s rhythm is off and things are just basically falling apart, we have to watch the started struggle through 2 or 3 or more rough innings, just because they’re the starter and the should be pitching 6 or so innings or around 100 pitches? What would be so wrong with pulling out one of your long relievers (or, in a real bind, one of your well-rested starters)?
I know that I am probably blowing a lot of hot air, and I know that I know way less about strategy and timing and the ins-and-outs of managing a baseball team than everyone who is involved in the White Sox organization (probably even less than the dude who gets coffee and makes the photocopies, really), but I guess, as an outsider, I don’t understand how we can break convention and have a 6-man starting rotation, but can’t seem to ever think outside of the box when it comes to anything else with the pitching staff.
No comprendo, señores. No comprendo.
And, now I’m done with the whining. My frustrations have been aired and I am ready to move on to bigger and better things tomorrow. My optimism is (mostly) alive and well in the month of May and I still love this team.
Here’s hoping for a fog-free day at The Cell tomorrow.
Peace out, y’all.