M’s win! M’s win!

DMZ · September 9, 2004 at 10:15 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Finally, I can return to posting regularly.

For reasons best left unstated, today involved me falling over from lack of sleep about mid-afternoon. When I woke up and turned on the game, the M’s were up 7-0 and Madritsch was pitching like I’d always thought he should have been pitching, against the Red Sox.

My immediate reaction — and I’m not kidding at all — was to think “Did I actually wake up to go watch the game? Because this seems exactly like the kind of weird dream I’d have falling asleep while thinking about the Mariners game that night.”

Turns out no.

Why did Madritsch go out in the eighth, ahead 7-0, having already thrown 108 pitches? It took him over twenty pitches to get through the seventh, he was throwing a lot of balls, and wasn’t going to finish the game. Why not pull him, keep him a little fresher for the next start? 126 pitches isn’t a death knell, though it’s made worse because he was throwing the last (what, 40? pitches) while increasingly tired. What’s the point here — the season’s meaningless, the game is well in hand, he’s running out of steam — what gain is there from running Madritsch out for the eighth?


12 Responses to “M’s win! M’s win!”

  1. G-Man on September 9th, 2004 10:30 pm

    Derek, a follower of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is the new Mariners strength and conditioning coach, and you know what he always said: “What does not kill me, strengthens me”.

    I was peeved about that, but I’m more upset by Ichiro bunting with two out and a runner on second. Two night in a row! Does Melvin have no control over him?

  2. Chris Begley on September 9th, 2004 10:43 pm

    Okay.. it is not like Madritsch is a young fellow. What are his pitch counts for the last two years? What is his injury rate for the last few years. He is what – 27? 28? From what I have read from Will Carroll, at this point in time, going to 126 with very few high leverage innings, is not going to kill him. And he is coming off 5 days rest. I don’t think this is a disaster for the team. Madritsch may have really wanted to go out there, and if he pitched well, might have wanted to get his first complete game.

  3. Red F & F on September 9th, 2004 11:07 pm

    Oddly, when I woke up from my dream – or did I? – Lonnie Smith was playing LF for the Red Sox. And he’d put on some weight since his retirement too. (Okay, an old joke).

  4. rd on September 9th, 2004 11:08 pm

    I’m sure it was the fine minds who kept trotting the fab five out on the mound all last year, and were darn proud of it, gosh darn it. They (Bobbie, Brianie) might well have reduced the Mariner’s chances of better weathering the stretch run with effective pitchers, as well as damaging a couple arms this year.

  5. Jon Wells on September 10th, 2004 12:05 am

    Yeah, it was really important to get that record last year, wasn’t it? Melvin and Co. seemed prouder of that freaking record (same 5 starters all year)then they’d have been if they actually made the playoffs…

    Speaking of which, there’s been a lot of talk the last couple of nights (on KJR’s post-game show) about Ichiro being selfish for bunting with a runner on second and two outs (he did this last night and tonight). That may be, but who out there thinks that the organization is telling him to do whatever it takes to break the record, cause it brings in publicity and puts fannies in the seats?

  6. Vin on September 10th, 2004 7:12 am

    For reasons best left unstated? Derek, crystal meth is nothing to be messing around with. You should know that better than anyone.

  7. PaulP on September 10th, 2004 9:53 am

    I’m curious what the real issue is with using only 5 pitchers last year. Is it that Meche should have been shut down in September? Should Piniero have skipped a start? Should Franklin have been out of the rotation? Do other teams give one of their top 3 starters days off just because (Randy, Shilling, Mussina, etc)? I figured the M’s used 5 pitchers last year because nobody got hurt. So what exactly is the reason people are mad about using only 5 starters?

  8. Troy Sowden on September 10th, 2004 11:03 am

    PaulP, the point is the M’s wore it like some badge of honor, when it was obvious Meche was struggling and Pineiro was taking too much of a workload. Sending Meche to the pen wouldn’t have hurt, and neither would’ve skipping one of Joel’s starts.

    Running them out there every 5 days may not have been the problem so much as leaving them in to long, but the way it was presented is in line with the apparent organizational emphasis on “toughness” and “guts” and “character” over actual performance. It may seem like nitpicking, but it’s worth speculating that if someone else had been given a chance, Meche wouldn’t have started the year in the rotation, or that Pineiro wouldn’t have gotten hurt if the M’s hadn’t have been so caught up in only starting the original five guys.

  9. Dan on September 10th, 2004 12:04 pm

    Even Neihaus was confused when madritsch came back out in the 8th. Dont get me wrong, i love madritsch, he’s on my fantasy team and i pitched him last night, but the guy had a tough time in the 7th, and he was out of gas. This is also a young pitcher who has, over the past few starts, had a bad inning per start where he gets roughed up. Against the best offense in the league.

    The confidence boost from going 7 shutout innings against the bosox could have been completely destroyed in the 8th, had ramirez or ortiz gone deep on him. I just dont see the reasoning.

  10. Brian Rust on September 10th, 2004 3:05 pm

    I’d bet and I’d hope that Madritsch himself was key in the decision to go back out for the eighth. When you shut down the Red sox for seven innings you earn that right. Not to mention being the closest thing to an ace on the roster. Whatever Melvin’s other faults, he knows the game enough to give that kind of respect when it is due.

  11. James on September 10th, 2004 9:08 pm

    well… you could have Dusty Baker who, this season, has injured Kerry Wood, Mark Prior and Matt Clement (most of his bullpen too while he’s been at it), and he’s going that way with Carlos Zambrano.

    And when he didn’t get it right the first time, he goes for it again. Like today, when he sent Mark Prior out to pitch in the eighth of an 11-1 game.

    I, as a Cubs fan, wouldn’t swap managers right now, but I also wouldn’t mind them both finding their way to an unemployment line after October… if the Cubs don’t make the playoffs.

  12. James on September 10th, 2004 9:23 pm

    Also PaulP… resting a starter every once in a while might have prevented the Mariners from fading down the stretch. Last year, this team had lots of options for effective starting pitching and only used 5… now they have few options for effective starting pitching and have burned a few of them out.