At least that's the best explanation I have for the series of boneheaded moves and decisions in last night's 6-7 loss in front of about a dozen people in Florida. Where to begin...
- Kyle Kendrick is about as average a #5 pitcher as there is in the league... but even he is capable of going more than 5 innings and 81 pitches. Now, maybe I'd understand this decision if the top of the 6th was a high leverage situation with a couple men in scoring position and the team down a run and you wanted to bring in a pinch hitter that could bring home a run. But the bases had just been cleared by Dom Brown's base running gaffe (more on that later), and John Mayberry Jr's homerun. And they brought in Wilson Valdez who proceeded to fly out for the 1,000th time this week. I'm not even sure Valdez is a better hitter than Kendrick. I might have left Kendrick in to swing for himself, THEN pulled him. We're talking about a guy who was given a 7 inning, 6ER, and 93 pitch leash just last Friday in Toronto, and then he gets pulled after just 1 earned last night. It doesn't make sense.
- Domonic Brown can't be making mistakes like that on the bases or in the field. Rookie or not, anyone who's been playing baseball long enough to become a professional at it needs to make both of those plays. For a guy who gets called an "athlete" so often, missing 2nd base is unacceptable. While Sarge and TMac tried to convince the viewers that the umpire was in the wrong position and that they think they saw the bag depress a bit, I'll trust the goofy mustached guy that was about 5 feet from the play with his eyes looking directly at the bag. The guy has a reputation for being less than stellar with his calls, but he was right there staring a hole through the bag. He saw it better than any of us did on replay and Dom Brown didn't help his case with his puppy dog face in the dugout or his post game admission of guilt. Arguing about the enforcement of bag touching is for a completely different day, especially since on this particular call they got it right. The botched play in the outfield is equally upsetting.
- How is David Herndon still employed? I think it was meech.one from The Fightins that posted on Twitter yesterday that the 2008 Phillies were the only team in the last decade to win a World Series with a Rule 5 guy on their roster. The Phillies currently have three. These guys flame out for a reason and when you find the incredibly rare diamond in the rough (Shane Victorino), you count your blessings, cash out, and go home. David Herndon is not a major league pitcher. He's had one clean inning since May and it was in 9th inning mop up duty of a 10-2 victory against the Pujols-less Cardinals. Shake any tree around a minor league baseball stadium and a right hander who throws in the mid 90s with his stuff will fall out. Danys Baez can ride off into the sunset too. Since his May 25th 5 inning performance, he's let up 12 ERs and countless inherited runs. If you're scoring at home, that's 2 more than Cole Hamels has given up in nearly 4 times the amount of innings. For christsake, he gave up a HR to Mike Stanton whose power has been MIA for a month due to vision problems that he said just last night still exist. How bad of a pitcher do you have to be to let a guy who can't see hit your ball 400 ft?