Thursday, 10 April 2008

The Roundup

Yesterday's loss was a closed-fist punch right square in the gut and a mockery of all of us who've been trumpeting up our stellar pitching when coupled with the one from the night before. But lest we forget that there will be massive highs and crushing lows over the course of this 162-game season. We didn't deserve to win yesterday and we didn't. The stars were aligned.

If you're not of the level-headed philosophical nature and want to be a total douchbag about how things played out last night, you could blame JP for bringing in Scutaro, who is now dead weight because he made his first error of the season, and for the Beej's injury.

Despite the sweep of the Red Sox, this game isn't as easy as it looks when you have more than $23 million (U.S.) for two guys tied up on the disabled list.

Words to live by. Words. To. Live. By.

(For the record, I begrudgingly give it to the A's. They just look right as a team. Did you know any of their current position players aside from Ellis and Crosby 18 months ago? I didn't.)

I'm naturally curious by nature and I've got to wondering whether Jeremy Accardo is in fact a top-stepper. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it's used for those closers who repeatedly flirt with danger, forcing everyone in the park to the edge of their seats and prompting all the players on their team to move up to the top step of the dugout.

Mitch Williams was a top-stepper with great stuff. Todd Jones and Joe Borowski are top-steppers with crappy stuff.

It's been a bad week for young Mr. Accardo. Despite locking down 3 saves to date, he's yet to do it cleanly once. Here's a summary:

Apr. 2 @ NYY: 1 IP, 2H (nailed 'er down)
Apr. 4 vs. BOS: 1 IP, 1H (got it done relatively cleanly)
Apr. 6 vs. BOS: 1 IP 2H, (got the save)
Apr. 8 vs. OAK: 1 IP, 1 ER (took the loss)
Apr. 9 vs. OAK: .1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB (blown save)

I would also note that his first three outwardly successfull outings were all relatively low-pressure 3-run save situations. The last two, he came in to a tie game and another with a one run lead.

Last night on JaysTalk Wilner said he's going to ask Accardo today why he's abandoned the splitter than served him so well for much of last year and report back to us tonight. If Accardo's lost confidence in the pitch, he's certainly not going to try and regain mastery of it in the sort of high-leverage late game situation closers routinely face. I don't think Accardo is a bum; he's quite the opposite. But something's clearly needs to be done because the status quo ain't workin'.

We need the steadying hand and presence of the Beej now more than ever.

The decision to DFA Randy Wells and call up Jesse Carlson is a semi-curious one. Carlson is a 27-year-old lefty who will presumably be up until the Beej is ready to rejoin the club in a week's time or so (knock on wood). He's had great to impressive peripherals throughout his career in the minors but has yet to really translate them into better than average ERAs. He's been great at Syracuse so far this year. But seriously, though: a pen with 4 lefties? That's insane!

I really don't give a flying crap about Randy Wells (though it's too bad he left before collecting his Fazooli's gift certificate from Wilner) given the bullpen depth we seem to have, so don't expect me to eulogize him here. Keep in mind that if we do bring Armando Benitez up (he now has his VISA and has to join the Jays before May 15 if we want to keep him) and he performs, he'll likely have trade value at the deadline.

Pick 'em up for nothing, trade 'em for something: it's a can't lose strategy.

Ironically, Blair notes that Benitez has been touching 94 with his fastball and showing a good splitter, the secret weapon that eludes Jeremy Accardo. He and the Beej are moving on up to Syracuse.


* But down your hash pipes, you dirty B.C. hippies. Rich Harden is more seriously injured than the A's let on. Zut Alors! Quelle surprise!

* Over in the Bronx, Jeets (Daryl Strawberry's nickname for Derek Jeter between jail stints) and Posada are still ailing, but neither is expected to hit the DL.

* If you didn't pick up Zach Greinke in your fantasy pool and slot him into your bullpen, you really missed the boat, Hoss.

-- Johnny Was

1 comment:

The Southpaw said...

Gibbons really doesn't trust League.

I can understand if he wasn't good, but he doesn't trust him, so he doesn't use him. So when he uses him, he hasn't played, is rusty, doesn't have control, and bam proves Gibbons right. Damn those self-fulfilling prophecies.

In my efforts to continue to tempt fate, Gibbons will not use League unless it's as a last resort.

Oh, and I'm sorry that I keep posting literally 10 minutes after you do :(.