As Biggest Suckfests go, Jamie Burke is by far the most awesome Biggest Suckfest we've ever had.
Biggest Contribution: Cesar Jimenez, +54.0%
Biggest Suckfest: Jamie Burke, -48.2%
Most Important AB: Betancourt DP, -28.6%
Most Important Pitch: Cabrera double, -17.2%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): +88.1%
Total Contribution by Lineup: -162.0%
Total Contribution by Opposition: +23.9%
(What is this chart?)
Just going to fly through a handful of bullet points since exhausting holiday weekends leave you in no shape to exert your brain:
- Earlier this year, when the Padres lost to the Rockies in 22 innings, I thought it must have been the most depressing thing for the few thousand (hundred?) that stuck around until the end. Sure, there's novelty in being able to witness more than six hours of a single baseball game, but that kind of commitment deserves a win or at least something exciting, and I have to imagine that it doesn't feel too good when you reflect on such an evening and realize that you sat in one place for 22 innings to watch your team lose a yawner. And so for this reason I'm thrilled with the way things turned out in the 15th inning today. By sending Jamie Burke out onto the mound, Jim Riggleman played the ultimate entertainment card. How often do position players end up pitching with the game on the line? At that point, there was no way for anyone in the stadium to be disappointed. If Burke did well, everybody would flip their shit. If he sucked, it would still be something to remember. And if he did okay, every little success would be met with supportive, bewildered applause. In short, Riggleman all but guaranteed that everyone watching would go home content, and for that I am thankful. Watching Burke get a swinging strike against Ivan Rodriguez made the afternoon completely worthwhile all on its own. I mean, really? Pudge is never going to hear the end of that. 82mph straight gas.
- The dugout reception at the end of the inning also made the afternoon completely worthwhile:
- RRS' average fastball today was 88.8, or basically right on his season average. Given that he ran his pitch count all the way up to 87, that's pretty encouraging. Early indications are that he's doing a good job of getting himself stretched out. He wasn't dominant by any means, but at this point priority #1 is building up some endurance, and only then can we really begin to focus on the results. I'm just hoping the team isn't in too much of a hurry to bump him back to relief. The increased exposure to right-handed hitters would make him statistically worse out of the rotation, but like I said before, you have to find out what he can provide. The potential payoff is too significant to ignore.
- I've never been one to pay much attention to Cesar Jimenez, but in the early going so far, he's opened my eyes. I can't believe there are still teams out there that pay millions of dollars for middle relief. It is so. Easy. To. Find.
- Nate Robertson needed just 100 pitches to get through nine innings against one of the worst Mariner lineups of the year. Shouldn't be long before people start turning this against Erik Bedard, like they seem to want to do with everything these days. I don't blame the guy for being quiet. The public's opinion of him has done a complete 180 in less than three months. Talk about your lousy working conditions. The public doesn't like Richie Sexson, either, but Richie Sexson sucks. Bedard is still good, and he's getting blamed for entirely too much.
- Kenji Johjima has the fourth-lowest OPS in the Majors among players with at least 200 plate appearances. I wonder how his extension is going to stack up against Michael Young's when it's all said and done.
- In case you were wondering, Richie doesn't just get booed for strikeouts. He gets booed for all outs. I am downright flabbergasted that he's still a part of the team. Not because we have much of anything better in-house - we don't - but because there would be no quicker and easier way to regain a fraction of the casual fan support that's been wrecked by all the losing.
- There's no way we finish with a worse record than the Nationals.