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Saturday, July 08, 2006

*ignites the Blame Thrower*

Let's see, after the Mole blew a two-run lead with two outs in the ninth inning, where shall we begin to apportion responsibility where due?

Let's start chronologically. Phil Gar[d]ner, your lineup once again blew all sorts of chunks, not to mention farm animals. That's right: your lineup orally copulated farm animals. Goats and the like. Morgan "The Vortex" Ensberg has no freaking clue what he's doing at the plate, and yet you continue to trot him out to bat in the third spot in the lineup.

If this is about having a "gut feeling" that he's due to break out of his two-and-a-half-month-long slump to end all slumps, pull your head out. He's not going to work through his problems--whether they be injury-related, not seeing the ball well, or blown confidence--at the major league level, much less for a playoff contending team. If batting him third is about thinking that he'd just pull out of it if he saw better pitches, and he's going to see more hittable pitches in front of Berkman, once again: pull your head out. He's been getting hittable pitches. He isn't doing anything with them, other than watching them come right down the pipe or, at best, fouling them off. Ideal Solution: Ensberg goes down to AAA to work out his problems. Lamb starts at third; Taveras to center; Burke in right. Since we all know that isn't going to happen because we just can't bear the thought of hurting one of our professional athlete's feelings... bat him 7th or later in the lineup. I'd even rather see Never-Hit in front of him, the way the two are hitting.

Sorry to pick on you twice in a row, Vortex, but you're the next one up, chronologically. (I'm giving Lambo a pass on his first-inning error because, hey, we don't expect him to be a Gold Glover at first. He digs the throws he needs to--several of yours included--and he's in the lineup for his bat, to make up for your sorry-ass performances. And he's getting the job done, there.) Today wasn't your best game at the plate: three punchouts in a row (hey, a hat trick!), an awful not-out-of-the-infield popout with bases juiced in the seventh and, when we actually could have USED your walking skills in the 10th... you flied out. You're now hitting worse than Ausmus and Never-Hit. Ideal Solution: Vortex, if you're hurt, tell Gar[d]ner or Purpura. You're NOT getting the job done and, at the moment, you're hurting the team. Rest up, and get healed. If you're NOT hurt, you need to talk to Gaetti and Gar[d]ner about heading out 290 to Round Rock, to get your swing--and confidence--worked on. You're got enormous potential, but we've absolutely GOT to get performance out of you.

Skullcap, not a good game for you. Oh-for-five with two double plays and a strikeout. Eh... your recent production excuses you from further insult.

Kudos to all of the following for great games: The Beege, Lambo, Fat Elvis, Burke, Qualls, and Wheeler. Studly.

The Mole: You freaking blew chunks tonight. You recorded two relatively quick outs, and then locked up. Given eight chances to get guys out with two strikes on them... you screwed every opportunity. This is 100% mental; you've got the stuff to get people out (although I can't--for the life of me--figure out why you haven't bothered to pick up a changeup to set up your fastball), but your psyche is apparently more fragile than we'd assumed. I have serious reservations about whether you have the mental makeup to be our 9th inning guy. Some guys have electric stuff, but can't cut it in pressure situations (Dotel). Other guys seemingly have more than enough moxie to make up for what had been VERY hittable stuff in other roles (Gagne). Solution: Get your s[tuff] together, or plan to be pumping gas somewhere. Maybe a trip to Round Rock is in order so that you can get your competitive juices flowing by blowing past has-beens and never-will-bes at the AAA level. Work on these three items, specifically:
  1. Get your fastball down.

  2. Start throwing your slider for strikes. The book's out on you that you can't throw your slider for strikes. You're falling behind, and guys are sitting on your fastball which--while good--you're keeping too high in the strikezone. If you can throw your slider for a strike--but not hang it, like you've been doing--they can't sit fastball.

  3. Learn a changeup, for crying out loud. Keep batters guessing on speeds, not just location.
And so we're back where we started: Gar[d]ner. Why, oh why, did you bring in Roy-O in relief, with at least three guys I can think of who would have been available? Borkowski's capable of giving you several innings (if your concern is that the game will drag on), and--if Roy needs work--you have the means with which to get him into the game on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

It almost seems like you're trying to get L's tacked onto him. Your lineups have completely sucked (i.e., Vortex hitting third and killing our rallies) every time he's pitched. He's now been stuck with two straight complete game losses. Today, you throw him into an awful situation: your "closer" has just blown a two-run lead, your team's morale is down, and Roy gets to face Pooholes right off the bat, on two days of rest? Tsk, tsk. Poor Roy.

Let's see what's on deck for tomorrow... *flips open his Treo* Cletus against... Chris Carpenter. Aw hell, I better start writing tomorrow's post-mortem tonight.


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