Maybe I should’ve called this “HORRORS, foiled again.”
A couple of weeks ago, I was saying that Roy gets frazzled and loses focus, and often loses games when the fielders make errors or don’t make easy plays. This sure happened last night.
In the third, after a perfect 1,2,3 second, Jeff Kent (Mr. Lead Glove – I don’t care what UZR says) drops the ball on a sure double play and Corey Patterson is safe at second. So Roy grits his teeth and strikes out Derrek Lee on a beautiful slow curve. But then Todd Walker hits a 3 – 0 fastball to RF, which Berkman doesn’t get to, for a ground rule double, Moises Alou runs the count to 3 – 2 then walks, then Sammy Sosa, who has not been seeing the ball well hits a ball right to Lamb, Mr. Lead Glove, Jr., who doesn’t catch it and the ball rockets past into LF, scoring Walker. 2 runs scored from 3 lousy fielding plays, but of course, no error on Kent. So Roy is determined to strike out the next batter. #%@$!! the fielders. So Aramis Ramirez hits the 0 – 2 96 mph fastball deep to left center for a 3 run homer.
Ah, what happened next.
Roy throws an inside fastball, Michael Barrett turns into the pitch and it hits him on the back. Barrett stands there for a minute, takes a few half-hearted steps toward the mound, then Bill Hohn, the home plate ump tosses Roy. Without “warning.” (Note: I don’t know exactly where to stand on the tossing. I disagree that hitting batters on purpose should EVER be a part of baseball. Like ever. (see Chapman, Ray) But pitchers MUST be able to pitch inside without fear of ejection. I am not really sure HOW the umps should deal with this. But I am VERY suspicious that a pitch that hits a batsman after a HR is most usually a purpose pitch unless it is a knuckleball or a very slow breaker, and I think that the pitcher should be tossed and suspended. Without warning. And that if the opposition tries to “get even” their pitcher and manager should be tossed immediately and suspended, too.)
It should be noted in fairness that Kerry Wood hit Jason Lane with a pitch right after Lamb hit his HR in the second. And he did not get tossed and the benches were not warned. So was Wood wild? Well, let’s see…
- Lamb hit a 3 – 2 pitch in the second for a HR, the first time that Wood had thrown more than 2 balls. Lane gets hit the next pitch.
- 3rd inning, Jose Vizcaino singles on a 1 -0 pitch, Carlos Beltran hit on the very next pitch. The next pitch, an inside fastball, Bagwell hits into a FC. Berkman then draws a 3 and 2 walk, then Kent strikes out. 4th inning, Bullinger draws a 3 -2 walk, but Wood only throws 3 balls to the 5 other batters. Not too wild, huh?
- 5th inning, 3 -1 walk to Bagwell, first pitch FC by Berkman, then Kent hit on a 1 – 1 slider. So, I doubt Kent was really hit on purpose, but I can’t say the same for Lane or maybe Beltran. And I won’t agree that Wood is wild or should be compared to a knuckleballer.
Well, did Roy lose his cool, his command or both? I hate it when the pitcher hits the next batter on purpose after he gives up a HR. Makes him look like a sore loser. (And Gibson and Drysdale would have cut that #%@$! out all those years ago if the batter had picked up the ball and thrown it back at them as Torii Hunter did to some pitcher who hit him a few years ago…) But the one real defect in Roy’s game seems to be his emotions, or at least his inablilty to control them when he gives up runners because of factors ($@#!@**!! fielding or umpiring) beyond his control. Until he gains the same command over his feelings that he has over his pitches, he’ll lose more than he should.