Tuesday, June 10, 2008
A pitch count is just a number...
I don't think I'm in the minority here that asking Dustin McGowan to pitch in the 9th inning of tonight's game was a retarded move by Gibbons. The Jays are up by 2, and yes, the bullpen hasn't been perfect as of late. But pushing Dusty to throw 125 pitches in a meaningless game against the Seattle Mariners brought a ton of risk to McGowan's future with the reward being a game we should have won regardless of who pitched the ninth.
It's not like this was a do or die game for the playoffs or anything. There's no excuse for McGowan to throw 125 pitches in a game like this...
McGowan is a TJ survivor, and this will essentially be his first full season in the majors. To allow him to throw 125 pitches in this game is inexcusable. If the bullpen can't be expected to hold a 2 run lead while getting 3 outs, we have bigger issues than the flawed lineup that cannot hit with RISP.
I didn't mind too much when McGowan threw after the 100th pitch. 110 shouldn't be too bad, and while 116 makes me nervous, as long as he doesn't do that very often; or has an extra day of rest; or is pulled out earlier in his next start, it's not a horrible pitch count. But I think at that point (the end of the 8th) you gotta tell McGowan he's pitched a terrific game, and that you're going to hand it over to the bullpen.
I'm glad the Jays won, and McGowan looked pretty sharp in the 9th. But I don't think it was a necessary move to keep him in, and I hope that McGowan's health doesn't come into jeopardy as a result.
Just throwing it out there - when Zaun comes back from the D/L, if Wilkerson isn't producing, should the Jays try out a DH/C platoon with Barajas and Zaun, with Stairs/Mench playing in LF? With Stew on the d/l, Wilkerson becomes the fourth OF. With my idea, the Jays keep Barajas kickass bat in the lineup. By the way, at the time nobody gave a shit about the Barajas signing, but since I've bitchslapped a lot of JP/Gibbons decisions lately, I'll give him props for signing Barajas, who's been an absolute monster lately. Definetly looks like a terrific FA signing to this date.
But back to my original point - if Stairs/Mench platoon in LF (with Stairs getting an odd start vs RHP as a DH cause he's old and we don't wanna wear him out in the OF), would it be wise to use Zaun & Barajas as DH/C? Alternate them every day or so, and they stay pretty fresh. Wilkerson becomes Stairs personally caddy in LF when the Jays have a lead. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but this lineup needs all the help it can get, so I'm just trying some out of the box thinking. Wilkerson has looked better as of late, but I'd hate to see Zaun get AB's over Barajas with the way he's been playing lately. Here, both of these guys get a chance to hit, and I think it has the chance of helping this team score more runs in the short-term.
The only flaws with this is that:
A) If a catcher gets hurt you might have to lose the DH (ie Zaun injured and Barajas = starting DH than Barajas moves to C and the pitcher has to hit).
B) You probably want to avoid A so you keep a third catcher - Thigpen? I'd hate to kill his development, but the way the Jays have used him they really have no intent on making him the C of the future...
Is this idea completely batshit insane, or does it have some merit to try this out maybe 3-4 times a week?