News and Notes from around the diamond…
– First off, no one has ever used anything even close to this title. It is completely original, and I am actually thinking about getting a patent on it, or a copyright, whatever.
– How long are the Brewers going to have faith in Gagne? I actually doubt that they have much faith in him now, but they paid him so much that they are going to give him his shot, regardless. The one year part of the contract was a great move, but the money is ridiculous given what we have seen from this closer lately. It cannot be fatigue, and it probably isn’t a health issue at this point. This has been happening since he arrived in Boston last season. It also doesn’t help when a pitcher throws a straight 91 mph fastball, on a 3-1 count, to Fukudome in a tough spot. Keith Law picked up on this, as did I, and probably most others who watched. Gagne does have one save, but a closer cannot expect to keep his job converting only 33% of the save opportunities that he is given.
I witnessed the first failure of Gagne’s, as mentioned. I also went back, using MLB.TV, and watched his successful save against the Giants. He started off nicely, and it appeared that he had some nice movement on his changeup. But after, I believe it was Brian Bocock, was retired, his pitches seemed to begin to miss their spots again. Just like last year. Luckily, he was facing one of the worst lineups ever assembled, and even more convenient was the fact that he was facing the 8-9-1 hitters of that lineup. Although I wouldn’t be very intimidated if I was facing the heart of the order on that Giants team. Well, I might, but a big league closer probably wouldn’t. But Gagne retired the side in order, and earned his first save.
But how many more chances is he going to get? The offense isn’t going to be able to pick him up every time he fails as they have done both times so far. And I want him to do well. He is one of the players that I enjoy watching. He just doesn’t get it done anymore. And eventually the Brewers may very well be paying $10 million for a mop up guy.
– Daisuke Matsuzaka is pitching extremely well thus far. His outing against the A’s was nothing short of dominant. Granted, the A’s are not the most successful offense, but it wasn’t just the swings and misses. It was the way his pitches looked, the confidence he displayed, and of course the box score. One out short of seven innings, 9 K’s, 0BB, and one earned. One pitch that he left up to Jack Cust. Very few balls were hit well, and he was simply on top of his game. Yesterday, was more of the same…at times. This time he gave up zero runs, but he walked four, and seemed to lose a little bit of his control as the game went along. I am not complaining by any means, but he ended up walking four. Overall, he pitched well, he just seemed to revert back to last years version for a few innings. Walking the leadoff hitter, getting into a bases loaded jam, etc. But the Tigers did not hit the ball well off of him. It was just the four walks. The Tigers had a few weakly hit balls fall in for hits as well. But he is definitely impressing me this season, even with his first few innings of jitters in Japan.
– Bonderman vs. Lester tonight. Which Lester is going to show up?