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Game 34 Open Thread: May 12, 2007

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azruavatar summed up kip wells' career during the game thread last night: "Wells seems to have really good stuff and really bad pitch location." next time he starts, pay attention to where the catcher sets up on each pitch; then count the number of times the delivery ends up on the opposite side of the plate. seems to happen 40 or 50 percent of the time. but wells' pitches have such good movement that he can usually get away with mistakes in the strike zone; he'll leave a pitch over the plate but the batter can't square it up . . . . . or such was the case in wells' first 4 starts. now he's missing outside the strike zone more often than before, and his mistakes in the zone are getting creamed:

inn bb hr
starts 1-4 26 9 1
starts 5-8 21 13 6

derrick goold adds some good insight about wells' struggles at Bird Land. i was struck by one statement in particular: "A scout who's watched [Wells] a few times in recent weeks said he's making decisions and struggling through innings just as he did in Pittsburgh." that caught my eye because after wells' last decent start --- the april 19 game against san francisco --- i made this snide observation:

how disgusted is kip wells right about now? after all those years trapped in pittsburgh, pitching for inept teams, he finally gets an opportunity to show what he can do with a decent defense behind him and a little run support to back him up . . . . he must feel like the pirates all tagged along with him to his new team.
wells was a one-man team that day. he got two hits and scored the cards' only two runs himself, one on a homer; the rest of the "hitters" supported him with only 3 singles. worse yet for wells' psyche, the defense collapsed on him in the bottom of the 5th. wells sailed into the inning with a 2-0 lead and only two baserunners allowed; he got the leadoff man to tap a routine bouncer to second, but pujols inexcusably dropped the throw to put the leadoff man on base. klesko doubled on the next pitch, but preston wilson misplayed it into a triple; the ensuing batter hit it to second, but miles' throw was in the dirt and pujols couldn't dig it out. they scored it a hit, but a competent defense woulda made that play. . . . in the very next inning, wells starting nibbling; he walked two guys, went to 3-ball counts on two other hitters, and gave up 3 runs. he needed 34 pitches to get through the inning.

goold notes that the cardinals think wells has lapsed into bad mental habits; i think he lapsed into them after that sloppy 5th inning in san francisco. ever since, he has pitched with doubt in his mind.

last night's lifeless performance with the bats doesn't bother me; peavy has suffocated nearly every offense he's faced. last night was the 4th time (in 8 starts) that jake pitched at least 7 innings and gave up 3 or fewer hits; he also did it to the marlins, dbacks, and dodgers. it was the 3d time this year peavy didn't give up a run. i don't know if the feeble bats will ever break out, but they surely weren't going to do it last night.

i'm gonna get a look at the triple A team tonight; the memphis redbirds are in my area (colorado springs) for 4 games with the sky sox. unfortunately, tonight's opener is the only game of the set i'll be able to attend; tomorrow i'll be doing mother's day stuff, and then i'm leaving on a work trip monday and will be out of town for the last 2 games. troy cate is pitching tonight, and ankiel should be back in the lineup (he got the night off yesterday against a tough lefty). j-rod hasn't played in a couple of days, which makes me wonder if he reinjured himself. i'll try to find out.

looper

young

4-2, 2.66

4-2, 3.29