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George...COME ON

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It was the location more than the pitch selection that caused the problem.

You're right - a third slider may very well be what Olivo expected. That said, it's still an OK pitch selection if it's in the dirt to make the batter chase. Olivo has struck out 30% of the time and only walked 6 times in 180 at bats. When you have an overagressive strikeout machine 0-2 at the plate, the next pitch shouldn't be anywhere near the strike zone.

By the way, I know I'm new around here, but when I saw six pages about Sherrill, I expected the discussion to be about whether he's overworked, how to break him out of his slump, or something about the game. A name-calling tote board seems beneath the intelligent conversation I usually read here.

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I'll say this about Sherrill. IF MGMT DOESN'T BELIEVE HE CAN CLOSE LONG TERM and/or they feel he is significantly overperforming, they should be looking to trade him hard because of his potential artificial "closer" value. My 2 cents.

Well, one more cent, I really like the guy. What a stand up dude. I hope he does well for whomever he pitches for over the remainder of his career.

Couldn't agree more.

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Come on Moose. Nobody is excusing Sherrill's role in that pitch. Tony went out of his way to say Sherrill was ultimately culpable. So did I. Is there only allowed to be one thing discussed in every play? Do we have to say "it was a crappy pitch" and stop talking? Can't we discuss another more systemic issue that we perceive? What does it have to get made into us "excusing" the favorite player and "attacking" Ramon Hernandez? Does this seem like my MO?

Well, ultimately that's what it was, wasn't it? A crappy pitch.

I'm just simply saying that Sherrill blows two in a row on two crappy pitches and all of a sudden Hernandez is the whipping boy for bad pitch selection. While that may be true, he's never gotten a lick of credit on here for contributing anything positive on the field which includes steering Sherrill through shaky 9th's time and time again and doing a decent job of handling what is mainly a young staff this year. How come Hernandez doesn't get any credit for Johnson or Sarfate this year?

Hey, it's not a secret that this board has it's favorites...and with Sherrill as one of them with the whole "flat breezey" thing and Ramon not being one with his lack of hustle, it's not a stretch for me to call it like I see it.

I'm sorry if you don't agree with that take, but I find it interesting how Ramon is taking a hit on todays game from out of leftfield when he's never been given credit for calling a good game during a good pitching performance this year, but all of a sudden gets flak for his part in a blown save.

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Well, far be in from me to defend Ramon. I've always said that I don't think he understands very much about being a C, and that Javy was much better at behind-the-plate aspects of the game.

But prior to each of the last 2 pitches, Ramon did exactly the same thing: he patted by the ground indicating inside and low-low-low and put the target inside and low-low-low. My impression at the time is that he wanted another pitch that would end up at the guy's feet, just like the previous one. Had the pitch gone there, he wouldn't have hit it. The guy had just swung at a pitch that was not in the strike zone and was not even hittable. So, I believe that Ramon was calling for another pitch just like that one.

After all, if everybody knows you follow up two sliders with a FB, then doesn't the hitter know that too? Isn't the hitter included in "everybody"? So, what's wrong with fooling him about that? IMO, it was not a bad idea to throw another non-hittable pitch to see if the guy would be a dope and swing at it again. The only single problem I saw is that where the pitch actually went was somewhere between a foot-and-a-half and two-feet away from where the target was. The pitch was not even supposed to be hittable, but it ended up very much where it wasn't supposed to be, and the guy hit it a mile. So, I don't think it was a brain-mistake, I think it was an execution mistake.

A great post that got lost in the shuffle, I'm afraid. It doesn't make this post 100% right. It just makes sense, that's all.

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It was the location more than the pitch selection that caused the problem.

You're right - a third slider may very well be what Olivo expected. That said, it's still an OK pitch selection if it's in the dirt to make the batter chase. Olivo has struck out 30% of the time and only walked 6 times in 180 at bats. When you have an overagressive strikeout machine 0-2 at the plate, the next pitch shouldn't be anywhere near the strike zone.

Well, except for the part about the guy expecting a 3rd slider (which I can't imagine), I completely agree.

  • The 1st one was low and inside. IMO, nobody but Vlad could've clobbered it.
  • The 2nd one was even moreso. IMO, it was even Vlad-proof.
  • The 3rd one was supposed to be just like the 2nd one: Vlad-proof.

I see nothing wrong with throwing the 3rd pitch just like the 2nd one.

The whole purpose was to see if the guy would be a dope and swing at it, just like he did with the 2nd one. He's a K-machine, why not?

The whole problem was that it wound up nowhere close to where it was supposed to be.

It was supposed to be inside at his feet, not belt-high over the outer portion of the plate.

Nobody can accuse me of thinking Ramon is a very good C.

I think Ramon has his more than his share of C-brain problems.

But I don't think this was one of them. IMO, it was 100% a pitch-execution problem.

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This is actually not a bad thought.

What do people think about Johnson's "closer" mentality that everyone talks about? This would be my only question about his ability to perform in that role.

The other valid concern against switching roles is the inability to replace Johnson in the setup role.

Two great points. I know Sherrill has the mindset to close, he does have ice water in the veins and you'd have to find out if Johnson can handle that. For whatever reason he does struggle in the role you could ruin his confidence.

Secondly, Johnson has been terrific in a set up role and very importantly has the ability to throw multiple innings and come in with runners on. With the way Sherrill has allowed base runners I'm not sure I want him coming in with runners on and he is never going to give you more than one inning. With that said I still think it is valuable to have Johnson in the set up role.

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All of this is correct, but I disagree with the last sentence. Do you truly believe that it doesn't make it easier for a batter to see the same pitch in the same location three straight times? Now, I'm not talking about a 98 mph fastball where the hitter can be told it is coming and can't catch up to it or a knuckler where the movement is so random prediction is impossible. I'm asking if you believe that a slider that is thrown at the same speed with the same break becomes easier to see, track, and ultimately hit IF it is thrown repeatedly to a batter or not? Clearly location can overcome all of those things, but it tells me a whole lot that everyone is so adamant that the pitch HAD to be in the dirt. I wonder why nobody had any confidence that this pitch would get past him IF it was in the strikezone like the first one.

Oh, of course it's way easier on the hitter if you throw him the same thing 3 times.

But I don't think that matters if it's someplace where he can't hit it.

The guy had just demonstrated he's got no plate discipline, and his record shows he's a K-machine.

I guess I'm assuming 2 things: that it's worthwhile to see if the hitter is a dope, and that it's not that hard to throw a not-strike.

But I'm not a pitcher, so I don't really know.

However, I would go along if we were talking about a difference of a couple inches. But we're not. This one, you measure how much it missed in feet, not inches.

Either way, we're making a huge deal out of one pitch. Is baseball great or what?

I'm mainly amazed at how everybody was euphoric as recently as Saturday. Now it's 2 days later, and all-the-sudden we need to hurry up and trade Sherrill, shoot Ramon, say goodbye to Oriole Magic, and tell SG he's supposedly right ;-)

Edited by rshackelford

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Well, Ramon has gotten a lot of flack for his pitch calling in MANY games that we won from many of us. The game threads are proof positive of that fact. He just doesn't call a good game IMO. And the call in this situation would have been fine IF the ball was shoe high or lower, but the margin for error is much smaller when a hitter has seen the same pitch in the same eyeline three straight times. It just is.

Regarding giving Ramon credit for Sarfate and JJ, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to give him credit for. Sarfate walks more hitters than he should because Ramon calls too many curves early in the count IMO. JJ almost gave up a homer to tie the game tonight on a hanging curveball that was called two pitches AFTER he got away with another hanging curveball (note: these were his first two curves).

I don't dislike Ramon at all. I'm definitely never in the "he doesn't hustle" crowd. I just don't think he calls a good game. Tonight was a good night to talk about it IMO.

Hey, you're absolutely within your rights to believe that a group of us that includes me can't differentiate between liking/disliking a player and using rational analysis to dissect what is going on in a game. I guess I'm just sad to hear that I'm part of the crowd-mentality, torch-the-unpopular guy thing in your eyes. Oh well. It is what it is.

Thanks for answering my question.

But you just admitted that the call in this situation would be fine if Sherrill got the ball down and in where it should have been.

I'm not going to pretend to know if Hernandez calls a good game or not as it's easy to 2nd guess from the comfort of my sofa. Let's not forget that it takes two to tango and the pitcher can call him off at any time if they so choose. I'm not going to crucify the catcher when the pitcher doesn't execute a breaking ball properly or misses his location with the fastball and it winds up in the seats. Sherrill getting that slider flat and up and JJ with his hanging curves aren't Hernandez' fault. Now if you're going to say "well, Hernandez should recognize that they don't have their breaking balls and not call them at certain times" I might be inclined to agree....yet it was Sherrill's curve that got him out of that nasty mess last week at Wrigley.

I'm glad to hear that you're not part of the contingent that plays the fan favorites/whipping boy game....but you can't tell me that some of that plays into who gets taken to task and who gets a pass on here.

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Oh, of course it's way easier on the hitter if you throw him the same thing 3 times.

But I don't think that matters if it's someplace where he can't hit it.

The guy had just demonstrated he's got no plate discipline, and his record shows he's a K-machine.

I guess I'm assuming 2 things: that it's worthwhile to see if the hitter is a dope, and that it's not that hard to throw a not-strike.

But I'm not a pitcher, so I don't really know.

However, I would go along if we were talking about a difference of a couple inches. But we're not. This one, you measure how much it missed in feet, not inches.

Either way, we're making a huge deal out of one pitch. Is baseball great or what?

I'm mainly amazed at how everybody was euphoric as recently as Saturday. Now it's 2 days later, and all-the-sudden we need to hurry up and trade Sherrill, shoot Ramon, say goodbye to Oriole Magic, and tell SG he's supposedly right ;-)

Are you saying that throwing 3 consecutive pitches in the same spot does not matter? If that is the case the catcher could just leave his glove in one spot and call different pitches. I am not letting Sherrill off of the hook, but Sundays loss was much more of Sherrill's doing than the loss tonight. He was a head of that man 0-2! That pitch shouldn't have been inside and it shouldn't have been anywhere near a strike. Go away and hard for a pitch or two and then come inside with the breaking stuff. We all learned that one in high school. If that was a 3-2 pitch I would have understood the reasoning, but the pitch type (off speed) and location (inside) were both terrible.

A guy being called for a bulk when he drops the baseball while on the rubber may be the dumbest rule. The general rule was put in place to stop from deceiving a runner. The old fake to third throw to first is more deceiving than a dropped ball. I hate that rule and it cost us a very important run. Sherrill and Ramon get pasted for a bad call/pitch, but Sarfate balked in a run. More than one individual is responsible for losing a game, but the closer threw the pitch that allowed the game to continue.

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Imagine going to the ballgame, sitting in phenomenal seats, and then for the topper, coming home with George Sherrill's glove.

The loss sucks, but as silver linings go, that one would be way up there.

I was at the O's - D'Back's game in (I belive) 2002 in a friends seats about 2 rows behind the D'Backs dugout. After the game, Luis Gonzalez tossed his batting gloves into the stands and they happened to come right to me. One of the best moments I've ever had at a baseball game. It was great to get a real pair of MLB batting gloves, much less the fact that they were Luis Gonzalez, who 8 months earlier, had made the game winning hit to beat the MFY's in Game 7 of the World Series. It was an awesome experience. Gotta imagine the fans tonight felt the same way.

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Bedard didn't seem to have a problem with Ramon's game calling last season...

Probably because in Mazzone's system, the pitchers call their own pitches.

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I've seen lots of great pitchers throw three straight sliders to guys. I've seen Mamol throw half a dozen in a row without Soto getting lynched for it. K-Rod must surely do it regularly.

As another poster said, with a free swinger like Olivio up there on 0-2 pitch choice wasn't all that important because it never should have been located anywhere that he could possibly have hit.

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Let's hear from the man himself:

The scouting report said Miguel Olivo has difficulty hitting breaking balls, so George Sherrill tried to seal a victory for the Orioles by throwing a slider with two outs in the ninth inning.

The strategy was sound. The pitch was not.

Again.

Olivo homered on an 0-2 pitch to force extra innings, and Jose Guillen singled in the tiebreaking run in the 11th to give Kansas City a 6-5 comeback victory Monday night.

For a second straight game, Sherrill blew a save by yielding a two-out homer. On Sunday, Sherrill had a 1-2 count on Washington's Ronnie Belliard, who hit a two-run, game-winning drive in the bottom of the 12th.

"Same pitch, same spot," the left-hander said. "I was just trying to bounce it and both of them rolled."

When he got to the dugout, Sherrill angrily hurled a bucket of bubble gum onto the field. It wasn't the first time he had surrendered home runs in successive games, but that didn't make it any easier to take.

"I've had it before but it's not any more fun," he lamented. "I'm not going to my fastball enough. (Olivo) struggles with breaking balls, but not that one."

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Maybe throwing away that unlucky glove will help him out...

You thought that, too? Does our closer-sibling know why the glove went in to the crowd and not spiked in to the bench like usual when a pitcher starts to physically vent? If it's because he wanted to rid himself of the glove that'd be kinda awesome in its own way.

Edited by The Wedge

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