This season has also not been kind to the pitching staff, particularly the starters. Of the Opening Day rotation, only one remains who has not been on the disabled list thus far. Due to this litany of injuries, we have had to be subjected to minor leaguers coming up and making either their debut or one of their own handful of major league appearances. Lately, however, we have been graced with Nick Pivetta. Tonight, he was great, throwing seven innings of effective ball for his team. His first five starts were nothing to get excited over (26.2 innings, 18 runs allowed for a 5.52 ERA), but his last two, included tonight, are making fans think that perhaps the team has found something. Here is his line for those two games:
13 innings, eight hits, three runs, four walks, 19 strikeouts
It is most impressive when you consider that his perceived ceiling as a major leaguer is that of a #4/5 starter or high leverage reliever. He’s been effective and efficient, collecting all of these strikeouts while getting deep into games. He’s been giving his bullpen a chance to maintain a lead and walk off the field victorious.
But, alas, the bullpen.
There is almost nothing left to say. You saw the final two innings, so I’m not going to go over it much. I....I just can’t anymore.
Hector Neris is not a closer. He has proven it the last two chances he has been given that he is incapable right now of preserving a lead for the team. It was particularly amazing that as John Kruk got finished saying, “Gotta stay away from his power zone,” in reference to Jose Ramirez, Neris proceeded to throw a ball right down the middle of the plate that was promptly deposited over the centerfield wall for the game tying home run.
Then there’s Edubray Ramos.
At this point, you just have to feel bad for him. Last night, I spoke of my disagreement in bringing in Ramos into a game that was still winnable, and yet here we are again. We don’t know what is happening behind closed doors with regards to workloads, tired relievers, etc. We just wonder why Pete Mackanin continues to go to Ramos as an option. After tonight’s theatrics, the probability that Ramos has pitched his final game in Philadelphia for a while is at an all-time high.
Which leaves us with Odubel Herrera.
Did he lose the game? No.
Did he help? Well,
Odubel Herrera what are you doing pic.twitter.com/qsW54NzNlJ— NHL Insider Dinger (@atf13atf) June 22, 2017
Then you have this series of tweets:
Odubel Herrera just ran through a stop sign at 3rd (& almost right over Juan Samuel holding him up) and is out by a mile. To extras...— Stephen Gross (@SteveGrossMCall) June 22, 2017
Odubel Herrera is out of the game in a double switch.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 22, 2017
Juan Samuel is LIVID at Odubel Herrera, holy crap.— Liz Roscher (@lizroscher) June 22, 2017
It wasn’t his best moment, that’s for sure. He’s not the first to run through a stop sign and surely won’t be the last. What this does, though, is add more fuel to the fire for those who continually call into question Herrera’s baseball intelligence. Which is ludicrous, of course. I’m not going to defend his decision to run through Juan Samuel because it’s indefensible. I will defend him against those that question his baseball IQ. He’s a professional major league player. He has baseball intelligence. Does he have lapses? Sure. But attacking his mental capability is wrong, so don’t even think about it.
I’m going to go to bed now, but you shouldn’t!
Tonight is the Alaska Goldpanners Midnight Sun Baseball Game. Click here to follow it. It’s the 112th edition and something that is really cool to follow. You can click on their Twitter page:
for more information. Here is a link to their Youtube channel if you feel like watching a live stream of a piece of Americana. Go Goldpanners!