Last night's game. Brother, where to start? Last night's game was like watching the sex scene of a movie in the same room as your mother. No matter how good the movie ends up, you'll always associate it with the teeth-grinding nightmare you went through to take it in. The Giants are riding a six-game winning streak, and taking years off our life in the process. If Pete Rose ever managed a Reds game like Felipe Alou managed last night's game, it would have saved a lot of Bart Giamatti's time. Alou did everything he could to lose the game. The laundry list:
- There was no reason to have Jason Schmidt start the seventh inning. I didn't even type that; I used the auto-complete feature of the word processor. What are the possible benefits to running Schmidt out there? He's not some pock-faced teenager in need of a confidence boost, so that's out. There was a four-run lead. The bullpen was well rested. Schmidt was nearing 100 pitches, and had not looked especially sharp all night, even walking Russ Ortiz in the sixth. It is still early in the season, and Schmidt threw a whole lot of pitches in his last start. After hours of contemplation and wonder, there is still no viable Devil's Advocate position.
- The Giants have three left-handers in the bullpen, but for the ninth inning there wasn't one available to face Shawn Green and Luis Gonzalez. That's the short version, but the context in which it happened doesn't make anything seem appropriate. Pulling Scott Eyre to bring in Jeff Fassero, who in turn was facing a switch-hitter, was a mystery.
- Alou didn't pinch-hit when the pitcher in question was not pitching very well, nearing 100 pitches, and had a runner on first with one out. He did pinch-hit for a pitcher who was the last lefty in the bullpen, to get someone up with two outs, and the pitcher being hit for was the only choice to neutralize the two left-handed bats the Diamondbacks were going to throw up there. It's as if Felipe and Dusty Baker are starring in a community theater production of "Cyrano De Bergerac", though, in fairness to Dusty, this wackiness even goes beyond him.
- Still wondering why Schmidt started the seventh. You can e-mail guesses to firstname.lastname@example.org.