Quick thoughts on the ninth

Just a couple quick thoughts on the ninth inning while Isringhausen is out/unavailable…

Ideally, I’d vote for a purely matchup/situational based approach. If you need a groundball against a RHH hitter in the seventh, use Looper then. If you happen to need a K against a RHH in the eighth, use Wainwright. And if that leaves you with Hancock in the ninth, or Flores, so be it. To me, that’s the ideal way. Use WW at the highest-leverage point, and just go with your best chances to get the outs.

Failing that, if they want a designated ninth-inning guy, I’d go with Looper. Not necessarily because he’s the best pitcher out there, but because Wainwright’s multi-inning availability is a huge asset. I love having a guy that you can bring in with one out in the seventh and get through the eighth. I know they used Looper for two innings last night, and he did well. Overall, though, it seems he’s best suited for shorter outings. So I’d go with WW the way he’s been used, and Looper as the main ninth-inning guy — unless it’s a lefty-heavy ninth.

What about y’all?

-M.

currently playing: shuffle, with "Rooster" by Alice in Chains the last tune.

5 Comments

I think Wainwright is the best option at closer right now, but I would not use him exclusively in the 9th. I would prefer occasionaly letting whoever pitches the 8th inning to finish it up. More importantly, I think we need someone who can close out games in the playoffs in the event Izzy is not able to. I would be in favor of trying different guys in September to determine who should be the closer in the playoffs

Ok, Reyes doesn’t have his stuff tonight. How long will TLR leave him in? The
D-Backs have scored 5 runs and it’s only the 3rd inning. When a pitcher doesn’t have his stuff, take him out and tell him he will pitch again in 5 days. You don’t have to crush him but you do want to win—don’t you?

I just hope Izzy’s ok. there are too many stories out there of guys playing through too much pain only to hurt themselves beyond repair. they fade into the background and next thing you hear they’re in that old SportsIllustrated section right after the contents page: “Where are they now” and you find out they have a bail bond business in E. St Louis or something… Anyway, despite the frustration he gave us, you hate to see a competitor facing something that has the chance to be pretty serious, especially at his age. I hope for him the same thing I hope for Mulder – that surgery can help him over the offseason and he can come back strong and effective. after the seasons he has given us, it would be a shame for his last appearance of significance to be that wed. night in D.C.

As for your thoughts… I like the new competitiveness of this team (look at last wed’s game up to the bottom of the ninth), so whoever they use will come with a passion to prove himself. Let’s go cards.

I agree with Matthew on the relief and closing scheme. As for Linda’s question about how long TLR will leave Reyes in: too long. I am a big TLR guy, but I cannot figure out why he constantly takes his team out of position to win a game by leaving ailing starters in for 5, 6, 7, 8 9 runs. Can anyone give me a rationale? What do you say, Matthew. You have good takes all the time. I know the question is not relevant to the post, but I’m watching the game and am frustated. Again, I love Tony, just have that legit question.

I see WW as a future starter too, but how certain should we be of his success in that role? He chewed up a lot of innings in 05, but wasn’t particularly impressive and looked like a solid #4 starter. Maybe he really would be better suited for a long career as a solid closer with his solid fastball and crazy yacker.

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