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redsmetz
05-19-2006, 07:28 AM
Here's an article from this morning's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about yesterday's game. I've highlighted a few lines here and there. First, the writer comments about Williams speed being noticably slower from last year. I wonder if they've check his arm to see if he's injured.

I also noted the couple of times were they mentioned we're a good team, one of the better teams in the NL. I think we lose sight of that given our recent struggles. He correctly refers to our bullpen as "wobbly", which is accurate, but still, we're only two back after a five game loss.

Whose the Redzoner who constantly says, "Everyone calm down?" - a good mantra right now.


Pirates' latest close loss carries extra weight
Bay slam, six-run lead undone by Reds, 9-8

Friday, May 19, 2006
By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


For the better part of the season's first quarter, these Pirates have spoken of their litany of one-run losses as if they were a badge of honor, a tangible, touchable sign that brighter days were ahead.

Not yesterday.

This might well have been one of those brighter days, maybe the brightest.

Instead, it disintegrated into one of their darker defeats, 9-8 to the Cincinnati Reds before 18,502 at PNC Park.

"Disappointing," starter Victor Santos said.

"So close," center fielder Jose Bautista said. "We were right there."

"Yeah, it's pretty tough," shortstop Jack Wilson said. "You're going for a sweep of a good team, you're up six runs early, you'd like to get everyone on a roll ... we certainly put ourselves in position."

That they did.

Many times over.

Their first three hitters reached, and Jason Bay brought them all around by clubbing a 66-mph curveball from Cincinnati starter Dave Williams into the left-field bleachers for a grand slam.

The next four hitters reached, too, and it was 6-0.

"We had a tremendous first inning," manager Jim Tracy said.

The Pirates had a chance to wear down the Reds' wobbly bullpen when they chased former teammate Williams, who was throwing noticeably softer than last season, after three innings. But all they would get over the next six innings was Jeromy Burnitz's solo home run in the fourth -- off an Elizardo Ramirez curveball and over the Clemente Wall -- that made it 7-3.

"We could have buried them, but we didn't," Bay said.

Santos had a chance to cruise after being spotted a touchdown lead. But he would extend his recent trend of getting hit hard and often by allowing five runs in as many innings, including home runs by Jason LaRue and Austin Kearns.

The Reds had clawed within 7-5 upon his exit.

"Every inning, they just kept coming," Santos said. "That was the difference."

Ultimately, Cincinnati's four-run seventh was the difference. Matt Capps, solid for most of his rookie season, was charged with three runs after giving up one-out, back-to-back doubles to Scott Hatteberg and Edwin Encarnacion, then an RBI single to Ryan Freel.

There, too, there was a chance in that scenario. Bautista nearly made a sprinting, diving catch of Hatteberg's liner, but the ball ricocheted off his glove and into the gap.

"Tough one," Bautista said.

Damaso Marte gave up another run in that inning, but only after the Pirates fell short of capitalizing on yet another chance.

Bases were loaded for Ken Griffey Jr., who blooped a 2-2 fastball into shallow left. Bay charged hard and dived forward, but he could not prevent the ball from landing in the grass.

"Just couldn't get there in time," Bay said.

There would be one more.

The Pirates manufactured a run in the eighth by pushing around Jose Castillo after a leadoff double. It was 9-8.

Freddy Sanchez delivered another leadoff double in the ninth. Nate McLouth, running for Sanchez, took third on Bay's bouncer to second. But Burnitz and Ronny Paulino each grounded out to the right side to end it.

With that, the Pirates let slip an opportunity to win three in a row for the first time this season and to finish off their first three-game sweep since July 2004. Against one of the National League's top teams, no less.

Instead, they were left bemoaning another one-run loss, their 11th loss in 15 one-run games.

"You go back and look at all of them, and you miss something by inches, or an at-bat, or you make a play," Tracy said. "You just move on. When the sun comes up tomorrow, it's a new day. We have to look at that way. We have to."

One area for optimism of late, apart from the Pirates going 4-4 on the homestand that ended yesterday, has been an offensive resurgence. They scored 24 runs in three games against the Reds and batted .319 on the homestand.

No one has been hotter than Sanchez, whose 3-for-5 output yesterday raised his season average to .346. In 13 games at No. 3 in the order, he is batting .388 with six doubles, a triple, a home run and 14 RBIs.

Asked how he will find room for Sanchez with Wilson rejoining the lineup for the first time since May 6 and Bautista faring well at third, Tracy replied, "It's a nice problem to have."

Bay's bat is alive, too. He went 2 for 5 to extend his hitting streak to 10, and he has 14 RBIs in that time.

That could help explain why he rebuffed a suggestion that the Pirates' brief momentum might have been cut off by yet another narrow loss.

"You know what? They're all tough to take, one-run or not," Bay said. "I like the way we're playing right now. It's definitely a better direction than we were going in a couple weeks ago. I think we still have it."

(Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at dkovacevic@post-gazette.com. )

RedLegSuperStar
05-19-2006, 08:10 AM
A note on Dave Williams.. He no longer belongs in this Rotation. As far as i'm consern Elizardo Rameriez should still be there. I've given up on Williams and White.. These guys havn't done anything but carry around a 7.2+ ERA's. You'd soon like to point out the Rameriez is 1-3 and probably not the best choice. But he has the 2nd lowest ERA of any starter at 3.38. If he had run support in those 3 quality starts we may be looking at a 3-1 record.

RedFanAlways1966
05-19-2006, 08:42 AM
You'd soon like to point out the Rameriez is 1-3 and probably not the best choice. But he has the 2nd lowest ERA of any starter at 3.38. If he had run support in those 3 quality starts we may be looking at a 3-1 record.

His ERA while starting is only 3.13 (take out the BP appearances)! 11 runs scored by the REDS in his 4 starts.

:help:

Red Thunder
05-19-2006, 08:42 AM
It seems more and more likely that something is physically wrong with Williams. He is in his prime and has never been as bad as this year. No matter if he plays at home or on the road, he gets hit hard. It's pretty alarming that he gives up so many hits .... until now, he never gave up more hits than innings pitched in his career.

The sooner he leaves the rotation, the better.

redsmetz
05-19-2006, 08:47 AM
It seems more and more likely that something is physically wrong with Williams. He is in his prime and has never been as bad as this year. No matter if he plays at home or on the road, he gets hit hard. It's pretty alarming that he gives up so many hits .... until now, he never gave up more hits than innings pitched in his career.

The sooner he leaves the rotation, the better.

That was the point I was making; that something physically is wrong with Williams, maybe some kind of weakness in the muscle or something (didn't some other Reds pitcher have that a few years ago?).

With regards to the first response to the article, I certainly wouldn't say Williams should be starting ahead of Ramierez. I said earlier that if Williams is staying with the club, he ought to go to the Pen. But I think a thorough exam by Dr. Tim would be in order. A healthy pitcher does not throw 60 MPH curveballs.

I liked the overall respect the writer and the Pirates gave the Reds. We're not a perfect team and we've got some gaping holes, but I think we're getting some due respect.

Chip R
05-19-2006, 09:04 AM
It seems more and more likely that something is physically wrong with Williams. He is in his prime and has never been as bad as this year. No matter if he plays at home or on the road, he gets hit hard. It's pretty alarming that he gives up so many hits .... until now, he never gave up more hits than innings pitched in his career.

The sooner he leaves the rotation, the better.

You may have something there. In that article the writer said that he was throwing noticibly softer than he did last year. That is usually the sign of an arm problem.

kbrake
05-19-2006, 09:29 AM
I dont think Williams will make another start. I think Narron gave him another shot because he pitched so well agaisnt the Phillies, but there is a reason Elizardo stayed in the pen and didnt go back down. I'm sure Narron knew it was only a matter of time before Williams did what he did yesterday.

flyer85
05-19-2006, 10:39 AM
Is interesting to note that the Pittsburgh folks noticed his drop in vleocity from last year as well. Nothing like damaged goods. It really serves no purpose to continue to run him out there.

TRF
05-19-2006, 10:47 AM
A drop in velo usually indicates shoulder problems. that's akin to a death knell for pitchers. Dempster was throwing 94 with ligament damage in his elbow with the Reds.

I think the Lizard may have a similar makeup that Reitsma had. He doesn't recover from errors that should have ended innings very well. That said, when he does have his composure, he's been outstanding. Dave Williams should be in Louisville or DFA'd. At least get an MRI on his shoulder.

kyle1976
05-19-2006, 10:52 AM
I dont think Williams will make another start. I think Narron gave him another shot because he pitched so well agaisnt the Phillies, but there is a reason Elizardo stayed in the pen and didnt go back down. I'm sure Narron knew it was only a matter of time before Williams did what he did yesterday.

I hope you're right. If Williams goes back out there again, Narron needs to be held accountable. I like Narron and most of the moves he makes, but letting Williams start again would certainly knock him down a few notches in my book. Maybe Wayne will step in and make the decision an easy one????

Joseph
05-19-2006, 11:14 AM
On XM yesterday, the Pirates announcers did mention on a couple occasions how much slower he was throwing. That he was mid-80's yesterday, but was in the low 90's last year.

I'm not trying to pile on the anti Williams bandwagon, but I'm starting to agree that maybe its not just a bad pitcher, but maybe an injured one.

flyer85
05-19-2006, 11:24 AM
I'm not trying to pile on the anti Williams bandwagon, but I'm starting to agree that maybe its not just a bad pitcher, but maybe an injured one.He has missed a season in the past with shoulder surgery. From the Reds perspective it really doesn't matter why his velocity sits in the mid 80's. Their concern is that it is obvious he cannot pitch effectively with his veloicty at that level. He needs to come out of the rotation.

traderumor
05-19-2006, 11:57 AM
He has missed a season in the past with shoulder surgery. From the Reds perspective it really doesn't matter why his velocity sits in the mid 80's. Their concern is that it is obvious he cannot pitch effectively with his veloicty at that level. He needs to come out of the rotation.It matters from a roster standpoint. IMO, a potential injury should have been checked long before now, and if not, I believe he still has options. Now, with the Pirates anecdotal evidence, forget if Williams says he's ok (he wants to prove himself after the trade) and medically take a look at the arm.

Ltlabner
05-19-2006, 12:11 PM
Here's something I don't understand. There has been a track record in the past few years of players suffering from mysteriouly decreased performance that might indicate an injury. The coaches ask the player if he feals ok and, of course, the answer is yes.

Is there some reason why they seem to be reluctant to run a player through a routine battry of tests/scans? Cost...? That doesn't seem to make sense. Insurance issues? That doesn't really jive either.

Anyway, it brings up what appears (to me) to be a pattern of reluctance to have guys checked out and it makes no sense.

redsmetz
05-19-2006, 12:13 PM
It matters from a roster standpoint. IMO, a potential injury should have been checked long before now, and if not, I believe he still has options. Now, with the Pirates anecdotal evidence, forget if Williams says he's ok (he wants to prove himself after the trade) and medically take a look at the arm.

I think that's imperative. It struck me like a lightening bolt when they said his curveball was in the 60's and then the subsequent comment about him throwing softer that last year. No one wants the Casey trade to be a bust, regardless of how boneheaded I think Dano was in making this particular trade. If he's not healthy, then lets move on that and see what we have.

traderumor
05-19-2006, 12:32 PM
Here's something I don't understand. There has been a track record in the past few years of players suffering from mysteriouly decreased performance that might indicate an injury. The coaches ask the player if he feals ok and, of course, the answer is yes.

Is there some reason why they seem to be reluctant to run a player through a routine battry of tests/scans? Cost...? That doesn't seem to make sense. Insurance issues? That doesn't really jive either.

Anyway, it brings up what appears (to me) to be a pattern of reluctance to have guys checked out and it makes no sense.I would say it has something to do with professional respect. If a guy tells you he's not injured but just performing poorly, while it seems simple enough that the organization simply demands the test be done, that is not a real great way to handle things from a human resources perspective.

Of course, you have the opposite problem with Burnett in Toronto, where the team is saying he's fine and he claims something isn't right (Gary Nolan anyone?)

TeamBoone
05-19-2006, 01:13 PM
In that article the writer said that he was throwing noticibly softer than he did last year. That is usually the sign of an arm problem.

If you guys notice this, wouldn't you think the Reds would too and at least have him examined?

I don't get it.


Is interesting to note that the Pittsburgh folks noticed his drop in vleocity from last year as well. Nothing like damaged goods. It really serves no purpose to continue to run him out there.

Do you think the Pirates were aware of this? And if they were, is there some rule against knowing trading a player that's "damaged goods" or is that the problem of the Reds because they didn't see it upon examination prior to the trade? Or wasn't he examined because there was no visible problem at the time of the trade?

dsmith421
05-19-2006, 01:36 PM
And if they were, is there some rule against knowing trading a player that's "damaged goods" or is that the problem of the Reds because they didn't see it upon examination prior to the trade?

Caveat emptor.

Further proof that Dan O'Brien may have been the worst general manager in the history of baseball.

BrooklynRedz
05-19-2006, 01:45 PM
If you guys notice this, wouldn't you think the Reds would too and at least have him examined?

I don't get it.



Do you think the Pirates were aware of this? And if they were, is there some rule against knowing trading a player that's "damaged goods" or is that the problem of the Reds because they didn't see it upon examination prior to the trade? Or wasn't he examined because there was no visible problem at the time of the trade?

I might well be in the minority on this, but I'm of the opinion that any pitcher with a history of shoulder problems is damaged goods until they prove otherwise.

Regardless, I'd still probably make the Casey trade, though I'd have asked for Vogelsong instead. But that's just me.

RedFanAlways1966
05-19-2006, 02:22 PM
Regardless, I'd still probably make the Casey trade, though I'd have asked for Vogelsong instead. But that's just me.

Surprising that DOB didn't insist on Vogelsong... since Mr. Vogelsong broke Austin Kearn's forearm with a hit-by-pitch on April 26, 2004. We all know that DOB didn't think Austin was MLB stuff. Vogelsong made it easier for DOB to put a real AAA-player in Austin's spot then. I am sure things like this were high on DOB's list of things to sign a ballplayer... rather than unimportant things like "can the guy pitch in the big leagues".

:runaway:

traderumor
05-19-2006, 02:54 PM
If you guys notice this, wouldn't you think the Reds would too and at least have him examined?

I don't get it.



Do you think the Pirates were aware of this? And if they were, is there some rule against knowing trading a player that's "damaged goods" or is that the problem of the Reds because they didn't see it upon examination prior to the trade? Or wasn't he examined because there was no visible problem at the time of the trade?He had a physical, and you would think with his injury history that it might involve more than bending over and coughing. But then, these were the DanO days. He may have performed it himself for all we know.

CTA513
05-19-2006, 02:56 PM
Could he just be throwing with the wrong arm? should he try throwing right handed? :p:


;)

traderumor
05-19-2006, 03:21 PM
Could he just be throwing with the wrong arm? should he try throwing right handed? :p:


;)You may be onto something. Instead of the Reds trying to experiment with moving their position players around, they could try the other hands for all of their bad pitchers. Or create switch-pitchers.

Matt700wlw
05-19-2006, 03:25 PM
Nothing like damaged goods.


The Dan O'Brien way.

Thank God that way is over.

RedLegSuperStar
05-19-2006, 06:32 PM
His ERA while starting is only 3.13 (take out the BP appearances)! 11 runs scored by the REDS in his 4 starts.

:help:


No Kiddin.. I like the make-up of this kid. Hope to see him back in the rotation.