Tuesday, April 19, 2005


You're never as good as you look when you're on a winning streak. And you're never as bad as you look when you're on a losing streak. And you're never as bad as you look when the Florida Freakin' Marlins beat the hell out of you again.

Livan Hernandez was supposed to start, but his evil twin, !Navil¡ made the appearance, just as he had on opening day in Philly. 5 innings, 8 hits, 2 walks and one bomb off the bat of Carlos Delgado.

Most egregious was the third-inning walk to the pitcher, Scuffy Moehler. If all things stay the same and Livan gets Scuffy, the inning ends with no run scoring. But, in that same alternate universe I would be king. Alas, it's not to be.

I hope this isn't a trend for Livan's starts and that it's just a bad stretch. Even in his last start, he walked the ballpark. His control has certainly been suspect and it'll need to improve for him to be successful, because he's certainly not going to overpower anyone.

I love ya Livan, but you were pretty lame tonight.

--Vinny Castilla fouled a ball of his foot and left the game. We'll see what develops.

--TJ Tucker strained his side and had to be relieved by the hero of yesterday's game (Assuming you're a Marlins fan) Joe Horgan. Horgan faced one batter and got him.

Frank did this earlier this week when Luis Ayala got the bejeesus knocked out of him. It's a good move to get the guy right back out there and get him some confidence back. Horgan probably feels a whole lot better about himself tonight than he did last night. (And I know the outfielders certainly appreciated the reprieve from windsprints to the gap!)

--The bullpen remains a strength, pitching another four kickass innings. Unfortunately, at this pace, the bullpen'll be burned out by Mid-May. Pretty soon something's going to have to happen. We're coming up on a stretch where we can't hide the fifth starter any more and we'll probably have to go to 12 pitchers.

--Had we won, the easy pick for player of the game would have been Cristian Guzman. I don't know if it has something to do with the new Pope signaling that the endtimes are near (I haven't really brushed up on my papal conspiracies like I should), but Guzman hit like a man knowing the end was near! He had three straight hits, with only one of them being his trademark limp-wristed, Wee-Willy-Keeler-lite theres-a-hitch-in-my-swing-even-though-I-have-no-power slaps at the ball. He even drove a ball into the gap, which would've meant another triple for this team, but it bounced over the wall for an automatic double.

The not-really-that speedy ne'er-do-well chipped in a stolen base (third, even!) and would tried for another when Brad Wilkerson ended another inning with a strikeout. (Hey, at least he only had 1 today!)

--I didn't catch any WTF Frank Senior Moments. Did I miss one?

For the second straight game, he engineered a pseudo double switch, moving his pinch-hitters around and bringing in a fresh pitcher to start the new inning. I'm still waiting for a mid-inning pitching-change version of the double switch. They're not that rare. We've gotta have one sooner or later!

--ESPN's boxscores give the gamescore at the bottom. (It's a junky, yet fun, stat that Bill James created to give a rough shorthand of the quality of a pitcher's outing. 50 is average and anything north of 80 is great.)

Livan finished with a 25. Oy!

--Atlanta invades tomorrow with its wife-beating manager in tow. We get Horacio Ramirez tomorrow and then John Smoltz on Thursday.

Obviously, tomorrow's the better chance for a win. Ramirez missed most of last year with tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. He's pitched in two games this year, putting up a 4.50 ERA.

Unfortunately, it probably means the return of JJ Davis and our all-doubles defense.

If we don't beat him tomorrow, we face Smoltz and a possible 4-game losing streak before heading to the hellhole in NY. Not good.

We'll find out tomorrow!


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