Does anyone else get this feeling whenever you see Joe Torre bring out Brian Falkenborg/Falkenberg in what seems like every game? I mean, I congratulate Joe Torre for being able to “move on,” so to speak, from Scott Proctor, but this is getting ridiculous.
Going into the bottom of the 11th inning last night, Hanley Ramirez was due to bat third. Now, you know Hanley Ramirez. 2006 NL ROY, 23 years old, and is hitting .312/.390/.569, 23 HR’s, with a nice, hefty 154 OPS+.
In fact, last night, he was 4 for his first 5. But, you see, none of this is particularly surprising, as he tends to fucking murder the Dodgers every time he sees them. Hanley vs. Dodgers lifetime (69 AB’s) = .377/.449/.638, 3 HR’s.
So, (in best Sophia Pertrillo voice) picture it: last night, Dodger Stadium, we’re tied at 4 through 10. The Dodgers had used Park (4 IP), Kuo (3 IP), Broxton (1 IP), and Saito (2 IP) up to this point. So, we still have Joe Beimel available (1.69 ERA), Cory Wade (2.78 ERA), and, hell, even Ramon Trancoso (4.26 ERA). I’m not fond of the last one, especially with his results this year, but I could at least KINDA see why someone would do it.
Unfortunately, the laws of logic are either ignored or completely oblivious to the mind of Joe Torre. So, instead, why not reprise the weekend in SF? That’s right, bring in…
The man with an ERA of 7.94, and has been an utter disaster in two of his last three appearances, most notably during Saturday’s trainwreck in San Francisco.
But wait, he gets the first two outs! Baker flies out to left and Helms grounds out to SS. So, who does this bring up? That’s right, Hanley Ramirez.
Now, with two outs and nobody on, you could do two things.
1. You can walk Ramirez and pitch to Jeremy Hermida, who is only hitting .256/.329/.407, with 9 HR’s and was 0 for 5 going into the 11th.
2. You can pitch to Ramirez who, again is 4 for his first 5, and, chances are, will likely pay for it.
Torre opts for option 2. F’enborg grooves a fastball down the pipe, Hanley cuts his nuts off faster than Jesse Jackson and hits an easy HR, and that’s the game, as Beimel and Wade sit in the bullpen.
You see, I just don’t get it. Is Torre constantly bringing him out there to “boost his confidence?” Does Falkenborg have this killer body language, arm release point, what is it? If it’s the first option, I don’t normally have a problem with a manager sometimes bringing out a pitcher the next night coming off a bad performance to boost his confidence a little bit. I understand the psychological reasons for that; sometimes they just need to get back out there again, I get that. However, what I DO have a problem with is when that pitcher is dead last on your depth chart, has not shown ANY semblance of being good throughout his entire career (career 5.95 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, .292 BAA) and, albeit in only 7 games, already ranks 4th amongst the bullpen in pitching in high leverage situations. This game was like a carbon copy of a game against Florida last year, when Grady stuck Tomko out there in relief only to get killed.
Nonetheless, this Torre/Falkey infatuation is growing pathetic. I mean, in terms of a hitting equivalent, it’s like constantly running out your pinch hitter who isn’t even hitting .100 or, for most of the season, putting a guy who has a horrible OBP in the #1 spot to hit leadoff so he can get more at-bats or…