Sunday, June 29, 2008

Worst No-Hitter* Ever

Sorry for the long layoff...I've been in LA until today, so I've been preoccupied with broken Volvos and other LA-centric crap.

Angels 0, Dodgers 1

I'm currently sitting in Washington-Dulles airport waiting for my 7:00 flight to Boston, but I figured I'd blog while I could. Plus, this game bordered on the never-before-seen, particularly for me, so I decided it was worth talking about.

This is possibly the only time you will ever hear a fan of a team complain after their pitchers throw a no-hitter. And yes, I realize that the no-hitter, generated by Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo, isn't official, because it was only 8 innings, but that's a bullshit rule and wel all know it.

This game is proof that the NL sucks and needs to drop the archaic "pitcher must hit!" rule. Weaver had thrown 98 pitches through 6 (more on this later), but was lifted for pinch hitter Chone Figgins as he was losing the game 1-0 without giving up a hit. Only in the NL will you see that, and it's utterly pointless because it does things like this on a daily basis. Forcing pitchers and their .125 averages to bat at least once every three innings is a great way to spoil a good pitcher's duel. It's also a great way to injure multimillion dollar arms like the Yankee's Wang (always fun to type). Honestly. Nowhere else does the pitcher hit. Not in college, not in the minors, not in the superior AL. Get over it.

As far as the rest of the game goes, Jeff Mathis should not be starting. Supposedly valued for his plus defense, he's been making lots of throws to second base "plus," also known as Torii in center field. He also can't hit. So Mike, put Napoli in before this happens again. Second, Garret Anderson is done. Juan Rivera needs to take over. Third, Torii, Torii, Torii. No excuse for the offensive offensive performance this evening. And finally, come on. Your pitchers throw a no hitter. You score 0 runs.

Jered Weaver, considering his no-hitter through 6, managed to make 6 innings of linescore-beautiful baseball so torturous I couldn't watch. The old adage is "the most important pitch is strike one." Throwing a strike to begin each at-bat doesn't gurantee success, but falling behind 1-0, 2-0, 3-0 is a recipe for disaster. Frankly, even without being pinch-hit for, I doubt Jered would have been able to throw 8 innings today. His pitch count was far too high, and with young pitchers, their mechanics fall out of whack and they blow out their arms as they tire. Jered is destined for the same career arc as his brother unless he somehow learns to command his fastball early in the count.

Jose Arredondo is still good. I'm curious to see how he does the second time through the league, but anyone who throws an 89 mpg splitter is probably gonna do just fine.

Expect additional entries soon.

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