Yet another one of those days here on Wednesday with some oddities around the diamond. I’ll hit on a few things rather quickly before offering yet another diatribe about the stupidity that is being allowed to fester in the City of Brotherly Love.
Jamey Carroll had three hits on Wednesday, and for those of you haven’t bothered to look at his work this season you might be surprised to see that he is hitting .290 with 42 runs scored in just 224 ABs. AL-only leaguers who called his name out for two or three bucks on draft day have certainly gotten their money’s worth.
You don’t hear many people talking about Travis Hafner anymore, and with good reason. The once proud hitter who socked at least 24 home runs with 100 or more RBI in 4-straight seasons (2004-07) was atrocious last season in a year filled with injury (he hit .197 in 198 ABs). This year he has been much better hitting .278 with 13 homers and 38 RBI in 252 ABs, but it just looks like he will never be able to work his way back to the top of the mountain because of continued issues with his shoulder. “I don’t think he’s hurt, but there have been lasting affects from the surgery and the rehab,” manager Eric Wedge said. “I think he needs some down time to be 100 percent.”
Joe Crede remains out of the starting lineup with his back injury. I’m about as shocked to hear that Crede is sidelined by injury as I am that the Nationals have the worst record in baseball. In another shocking development, the Mets placed yet another player on the DL in hurler Oliver Perez. The mercurial lefty will have surgery to repair a patella tendon in his knee that has given him trouble all year, and as a result his season is over. There is not truth to the rumor that Mr. Met will end up on the DL with a strained oblique suffered while tossing peanuts to the fans.
Brad Lidge blew yet another game on Tuesday night, yet brain-dead manager Charlie Manuel says he is sticking with his beleaguered hurler. “He’s got to stay with it,” Manuel said. “He’s got to keep going. I mean, what the hell? That’s all we can do. … That’s where we’re at. That’s our closer. I’ve said that all along. That’s the guy we give the ball to in the ninth inning.” Look Mr. Manuel, you are turning into a laughing stock with your inability to make the move that should have been made months ago. In fact, way back on May 24th in A Change is Needed I suggested the obvious, turning to Ryan Madson, and I hit on that situation yet again about a week and a half ago in Philly Flop. Yet despite all of the data Manuel continues to run Lidge out there in the ninth inning, and it seems like he is pretty steadfast in his position despite an utter avalanche of information suggesting that this decision could preclude the team from once again reaching the World Series. If Tuesday night’s outing isn’t the straw that breaks the camels back – Lidge needed just seven pitches to allow three runs on his way to his sixth loss and ninth blown save – then there simply isn’t ever going to be a reason deemed worthy enough by Mr. Manuel to do the prudent thing and replace Lidge with Madson.
The Rockies continue to win, and they are just two games behind the Dodgers for the NL West lead heading into action on Wednesday night. No team in baseball history has ever come back from a 15.5 game deficit in season to capture a division title (the 1914 Braves came back from a 15 game deficit), but the Rockies could be the first. Since June 3rd, when they were a season worst 12 games under .500, the club has gone 52-22, good enough for a .703 winning percentage. Some truly amazingly things are happening on Colorado.
By Ray Flowers
Photo Credit: Mr. Met and the esteemed Ryan Houston.