Love/Hate With Cito Gaston
It can be nice to have three batting coaches putting their heads together sometimes. Even though I think it’s pretty ridiculous to think that John McDonald is going to hit better than .250 at this point in his career, props to Cito for pointing out that he hits the ball a lot better when he pulls it. (But I thought being pull happy was Brantley-bad?!).
|John McDonald 2008||.500||.175||.091|
|John McDonald Career||.390||.221||.311|
I put his career averages in there just to give whoever wants to yell SAMPLE SIZE!! some ammunition. 1-for-11 (.091) to the opposite field this season is not in any way meaningful. But over his career, it looks like McDonald should forget about hitting it up the middle like so many young players are told to.
What’s with the pitch counts, Cito? First the Doc was left out for 130 pitches, the longest of his season. He was struggling all start, and there was no reason to let him try and finish the 7th against the Tribe. Now he’s being pushed back a day- I don’t mind him facing the Sox at all, but because we’re running his pitch count up to even more ridiculous heights this season.
Then today- sending out LItsch for the 7th when he’s at 100 pitches so he can reach his 2nd highest pitch count of the season strikes me as one of those decisions made out of respect for him throwing a great game moves that I can’t stand. Especially when we’ve got this lights out….errr…bullpen. But then Downs would have been available to shut the door if he hadn’t been trotted out in the 9th last inning, up by four – a situation where the team with the lead loses 1.3% of the time.
And ok, I know this will never ever happen with a traditional manager and doesn’t really happen in baseball ever anyway, but you walk Sheffield to face the lefty and the game hangs in the balance – that’s time to bring in your closer, inning be damned. Even if he can’t go the full four outs, it doesn’t matter. It’s still a better use of bullpen leverage than leaving Jason Frasor out there, especially when he’s been een of the least “clutch” pitchers in baseball the last couple of years.