Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Ryan Church’s Bad Day

Poor Ryan Church. Consider his performance over the last week. All the man (kid?) has done was smack the bejeesus out of the ball. Need a game-winning, bases-clearing double, and he’s your guy. Need terrific outfield defense? He’s your guy too.

So what happened against San Francisco? As we went over ad nauseam, Frank left him on the bench for all 26 innings of baseball. (OK, it was only 13, but it felt that long!) And as we went over ad nauseam, there were several opportune times to bring him in. Alas.

So, what does the lil scamp do yesterday, in his return to the lineup? He smacks the living crap out of the ball all over again. Single. Double. Home Run. Yes! He’s well on his way to being the Majority Whip.

But, no.

First he’s overshadowed by ¡Livan!, who went the first six innings with nary a run allowed. He floated in and out of trouble in typical ¡Livan! fashion, giving minimal effort on his pitches until he really needed to bear down.

It worked until the 7th, when ¡Livan!’s emerging arch-nemesis Chad Tracy smacked a two-run homer and a sac fly tied the score. Even though he got the win, that’s not a whip-winning performance.

Second, Nick Johnson (with his John Astin moustache) wrecked the hell out of the ball. He had three hits, including a homer to deep right and the go-ahead double to left-center. When they needed a big hit, he got the big hit, usurping Church.

And, perhaps more importantly, his own manager (surprise surprise) robbed him of his chance. Needing just a triple to hit for the cycle in a park that allows 65% more triples to left-handed batters and with an immobile Shawn Green in right, Frank pinch hit for him when Arizona brought in a lefty. Way to instill some confidence, Frank.

Arizona’s bench coach --manager Bob Melvin was ejected earlier in the game -- made an even dumber move next, intentionally walking the next two batters to bring up Brian Schneider. That it worked says less about the competence of the strategy than it does the stupidity of Schneider (Seen here) weakly tapping into a GIDP on a 3-1 pitch.

Alas, it wasn’t to be for young Church. On an ordinary night with El Caballo trying to overshadow him, and without his manager kneejerkingly removing him, it would have been his night to shine.

But, last night, Nick Johnson had the big hits, the clutch hits. And Nick Johnson is the Majority Whip.


  • I'm getting sick and tired of the treatment of Church, recently -- it's like Frank's trying hard not to give him a chance -- he's hitting freaking .714 over the last 7 days with 9 RBI.


    By Blogger Cameron, at 5/10/2005 10:38 AM  

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