Thursday, October 1, 2009

JJO: Lopez should have thrown the sinker

In an unbelievable blog post by JJO, the sum of whose knowledge could fill the fabled Library of Alexandria thrice over, he says Wilton Lopez should have thrown the pitch he wanted to throw.

Now, remember, following last night's game, Astros County (that's right: 3rd person) pointed out that JJO pretty much hung Lopez out to dry.

Listen to this, as a follow-up, from JJO:

Wilton Lopez had wanted to throw a sinker with the bases loaded, nobody out and the score tied at 1. Dewey Robinson visited the mound and told him to throw a slider.

Not wanting to disobey his boss, Lopez threw a first-pitch slider. Now, to be clear, Robinson didn't tell Lopez to hang the slider. Whatever the case, Lopez's first-pitch slider was crushed over the left field wall for a grand slam that gave the Phillies a 5-1 lead in a game they won by three runs, 7-4.

A more established pitcher would have likely gone with his instincts.

There's an old-time baseball word that comes to mind, and that's "Bullcrap."

You're asking a 26-year old pitcher, who was in Double-A 32 days ago, to "trust his instincts" and defy his pitching coach. There's a little anecdote to lead the post about how Roy told Wandy earlier this season to throw what he wanted to throw, despite what fingers Pudge put down. There's a big difference when Wandy, who has been in the Majors for five years now, shakes off his catcher, and when Wilton Lopez, who was making his first career Major League start, goes against his Major League pitching coach.

This now qualifies as the Worst Idea Ever.

Dave Clark:
"He's the one that's out there. He knows what pitch he has a real good feel for that particular night and what's working for him. Again, like we said earlier, this is definitely a work in progress for him. I'm not going to get into an argument on what he should have thrown or what he should not have thrown. The thing is it's his game and he's got to realize that if this is what's working for me tonight and this is my best pitch of the night then that's what I'm going to go with."

Horse**** (this is a family blog, after all). He's making his first career start. The bases are loaded. I don't care if he's facing Moonlight Graham, he's going to be keyed up, and whomever comes out of the dugout and tells him what to throw, he'll throw it. Dewey could have said, "What I want you to do here is throw a fastball about 30 feet in front of the plate," and Lopez probably would have done it. In your first career start, you're not going against anybody to throw "what you want to throw."

It's fine if it's Roy or Wandy. It doesn't fly with a rookie.