Game 97, Red Sox at Mariners
Kason Gabbard, major league debut, vs Felix Hernandez
Gabbard’s a 24-year-old lefty who was okay at Double-A Portland, got promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, and saw his ERA rise due a case of homerunitis. He’s your classic minor league lefty – throws in the 80’s, doesn’t miss bats, tries to survive by throwing strikes, which he hadn’t really done until this year. He’s their version of Bobby Livingston, just not quite as good.
Giving Raul a day off against a lefty isn’t a bad idea – the problem is that the Mariners roster is constructed so poorly, thanks to Hargrove’s insistance on a 12 man pitching staff, that the team has no capable right-handed hitting outfielder on the roster, so Carl Everett starts in left field.
Everett’s terrible defensively and is hitting .164/.243/.269 against southpaws this year. The M’s, honestly, would be just as well off not using a DH and letting Eduardo Perez play left field. I’m not kidding. Felix could hit .164/.243/.269 against lefties.
And, the kicker, of course, is that Everett is still hitting 6th. Everyone knows Everett can’t hit lefties – Bavasi acquired Perez strictly so that Everett wouldn’t have to play against them. Meanwhile, the team has him hitting in front of Johjima and Betancourt. That’s insane.
And, of course, Willie hitting second.
Mike Hargrove is not an idiot. I’m sure he’s a reasonable man. But he’s terrible at assembling line-ups (as well as pretty much every other strategical task expected of a manager). For your enjoyment, this back-and-forth is copied from last night’s game thread:
James T said:
July 21st, 2006 at 10:25 pm e
I used to be impressed by how well he would deploy the OriolesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ bullpen to hold leads the few times they got ahead of the Sox in the years when Hargrove was the OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s manager.
July 21st, 2006 at 10:48 pm e
#355: I think the problem is GroverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still calling for the same guys from his old Orioles clubs. Jim SlatonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s down in the bullpen trying to match names as best he can.
No out, two on, Bullpen phone rings
Hargrove (over phone): Ã¢â‚¬Å“Get Calvin Maduro warmed up!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Slaton (muttering): Ã¢â‚¬Å“Maduro? We ainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t got no Maduro. Hey, Mateo, get warm!Ã¢â‚¬Â
A walk, a single, and a HR later, Mateo enters the game.
Two walks and a HR later, the bullpen phone rings again
Hargrove: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I need Jorge Julio!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Slaton: Ã¢â‚¬Å“JulioÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s already in the game.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Hargrove: Ã¢â‚¬Å“What? Fine, get Yorkis Perez warm.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Slaton: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Perez? You pinch hit him last inning for Jones.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Hargrove: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I did? What about Sean Douglass?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Slaton (mutters): Ã¢â‚¬Å“We ainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t got no Douglass. You mean Sean Green?
Hargrove: Groom? No, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want Buddy Groom, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a lefty. Who else we got left out there?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Slaton: Ã¢â‚¬Å“J.J. Putz, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rested.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Hargrove: Ã¢â‚¬Å“B.J. Ryan? No, I told you, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want a Lefty. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s leave Jorge in the game.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Slaton: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fine. Hey Fruto, get some more coffee. Gonna be a long night.Ã¢â‚¬Â