Sunday, June 7, 2009

Four in One

Sorry to say it, but the gaudy stuff does grab the headlines.  Clete Thomas broke a 5-5 tie, and put the game out of reach this afternoon with one mighty swat.  It was the first grand slam of his career, and he sure picked a dramatic spot.  After getting swept by the Red Sox, we most definitely didn't want to lose the series to the Halos.

This game was tense throughout, we were down early, came back to lead 4-3, walked in the tying run, etc.   Pretty Little Ricky did a nice job steadying himself after giving up three in the first.  Not a great performance, but I like grit, and he sure gave us that through five. 

So, when we tied the game (nice bluff home to induce the errant throw, Raburn!) and then loaded the bases with two outs (we can send the Angels pitching staff a fruit basket for issuing four walks in that inning), I found myself wound a wee bit tight, worrying that we'd strand the bases juiced, and I would leap off the edge of sanity into some pitiful state of lunacy.

Clete Thomas decided that shred of sanity was worth saving (and for that, I thank him).   He wouldn't even come out for a curtain call, when the fans were imploring him with chants.  Aw.  His humility seems quite genuine, so it's pretty durn adorable.

Now, I'm beginning to wonder about our Skipper a little.  I guess maybe he has to do it (but I don't think he really does), but why, why I ask, does he keep putting Rodney in the game for the now fabled "non-save situations?"   It would be laughable if it weren't so maddening.  Even FSN had the hideous splits plastered all over for the viewing masses to see.  Actually, in this game, Perry, Seay, and  Zumaya had already pitched, so maybe it was better than watching Brandon Lyon trot out of the pen.  But still, it's a valid question for Skip, no?


Ian C. said...

Rodney in non-save situations makes me curl up and shiver, too. But my theory is that Leyland doesn't want to risk him ever sitting out for too long.

Some managers only bring in their closers for the save, and sometimes that means a guy doesn't pitch for five or six games. Then they wonder why the pitcher's rusty when he comes in. (Maybe this happened to Todd Jones at times.)

Leyland must think Rodney is a guy who needs to work a lot to stay sharp. Or wants him to get used to the idea of pitching two or three days in a row if and when some save situations pop up.

OldEnglish said...

I like that theory, and it makes a bit of sense, too. Too bad that knowledge doesn't really help calm the nerves when Rodney comes on in the non-save. Sigh.