Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Good Movement, Sloppy Balls

Sure, Patterson's line looks terrible (six earned, thanks, in part, to a an outing by Micah Bowie that's really not worthy of the 'relief' tag).

But despite the results, there were some encouraging signs there.

The Red Snapper was back. His curveball had much of the bite back, ripping down through the zone and doing a pretty good job of keeping the hitters off balance.

His fastball was a bit faster today, but I'm still not too concerned with the velocity. What was impressive was the movement of it. Even though it's a four-seam fastball, it's got a nasty tail to it, darting slightly in on a right-handed batter.

His slider was decent, but it didn't appear to miss many bats, which is an indication that it lacked some of the zip of his other pitches. Sliders typically put the most strain on the elbow, so it would likely be the last to come back.

Given the crispness of his pitches, he failed because he didn't have control. He frequently missed his target, and as the game wore own, it looked like fatigue set in, as his fastball wasn't coming near. He got hit hard, a bit, but there was a lot more to like in this start than in the past. Despite the six runs, it's a good sign going forward.

What really undid him, though, was the shittastic defense.

I've ranted before about how stupid errors are for evaluating how successful a defense is. Today, the Nats made just one error and 8 of the 9 runs they gave up were earned. But on a crisp defensive club, 4 or 5 (if not more!) of those runs don't score.

Manny Acta talked a lot about how this team needs to do the little things and play tight defense. It just goes to prove that the more a baseball team talks about the fundamentals, the worse the are at them.

We saw balls fall in in the outfield, shortstops feel around the bag at second like a blind man stepping off a curb only to throw wildly to first, second basemen range waaaay out into the outfield where gunshy right fielders yield to the fat guy charging out, etc, etc.

The team plays sloppily, and they often don't do the little things a great team does instinctively. Some of these are the same kinds of mistakes that we got on Frank Robinson for allowing to happen. Perhaps it's as much the crappy players we have as the crappy manager.

Sure, the errors on wild throws kill. But it's those non-scorebook misplays that make the true difference between winning and losing. One look at the standings paints the true tale.


  • It does look terrible. But don't call me shirley.

    Patterson did look better. I think he's 2-3 starts away from being a good number 2 again, and could even be an ace again some day. But, that is counting on him being healthy enough to get 2-3 more starts. He definitely fades fast though.

    By Blogger Natsfan74, at 4/26/2007 12:07 PM  

  • Patterson isn't going to be a decent pitcher until his velocity comes back. When his fastball was registering 87-89 in the 1st inning, you just knew it was a matter of time before he got hammered. He doesn't have the control to pitch at that speed.

    Look at Lieber. He was throwing the same junk but with a fastball in the low 90s. And it worked.

    Realistically, JP should be making these starts for Columbus.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/26/2007 1:21 PM  

  • Didn't F. Lopez get taken out of the game yesterday after he was hit by a pitch? Maybe he's still hurt. Did anyone see that or is it my faulty memory?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/26/2007 4:14 PM  

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