FriarBall: Do the Peavy

Friday, May 25, 2007

Do the Peavy

Chris Young tried his hardest to do a good Jake Peavy impersonation last night and for the first three innings it was spot on. Of Young's 10 K's last night, six of them came in the first three innings as he kept the Cubs off the base paths.

Unfortunately, in a 1-1 game, Bud Black left reliever Cla Meredith in a little too long and the Cubs scored two more runs in the 9th to win 3-1. I know that as a former pitcher Black knows what it feels like to be pulled when you feel like you can get out of jam, but for two consecutive nights, he left his pitchers in a little long in tight situations. He got lucky with David Wells Wednesday, but no so much with Meredith on Thursday.

One of the great things about the Padres playing the Cubs, Braves, Nationals and every few years the Orioles is that living in the DC area, I can actually watch those games when those teams televise the games. On Wednesday, the Cubs announcers were talking about why most managers seem to be former catchers and how a lot of former pitchers have a tough time as a manager and this series proved why.

The most difficult decision has to be when do you pull a pitcher and if you have been in the situation yourself, you are more likely to let him work out of his own jam. Now I'm not criticizing Black or his managing - he does have us at 25-21 despite an inconsistent offense and a terrific pen - but not everyone comes through in tense situations and in a tight game you have to have a quick hook. Meredith was great in the eighth, Heath Bell probably should have pitched the entire ninth.

But hopefully Meredith learned something from this and will not get rattled so easily next time. Our pen, no matter how great it is, will not come through every time but if it can learn as the season goes, we should be able to avoid losses like Thursday's.

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