The order in a pitching rotation seems more like a facial feature difference than a subtlety. The opposition knows exactly what to expect. It’s either gonna be 95 mph gas or off speed junk. And nowadays, with videos galore, the details of how a pitcher pitches can be analyzed into microscopic realms.
And yet the who and when of a pitching rotation is still very important to a manager or maybe he sits and stares at a clipboard just to appear smart and sabermetric savvy; a 21st century pose. Yes, the pitching staff order is far from random. Starts are even skipped and spot starters inserted to tilt the scales a bit and create better match-ups, increase the odds for a pitcher and his team.
A staff typically consists of four or five starters and ideally-barring injury, there’s not much tinkering to it over a 162 game season. But no two teams are exactly alike in terms of habits and tendencies; strengths and weaknesses. Some are better fast ball hitting teams and others see the junk, wait on back legs and line balls to the opposite field.
There is no exact science to a pitching rotation and no bible to follow, but that doesn’t stop teams from insisting on having at least one lefty in a rotation and assembling the others in some night then day fashion; a speed demon followed by a change-up artist; a quick worker on Sunday-a human rain delay Monday. It’s all designed to disrupt the batters; screw up their timing, keep em guessing.
But mood, momentum, and luck makes many a manager turn to the bottle and it ain’t Grecian Formula to keep grey hairs at bay; hoping for a better day tomorrow. But if the sun shines and a pitcher baffles the opposition, new theories will explain a team’s success. And poor ol’ luck- will toil away in obscurity, still the unsung hero of baseball outcomes.
The Brewers liked their chances with Marco Estrada following Matt Garza in the rotation; from 95 mph gas to 80 mph deception. Estrada pitched well Tuesday night against the Cardinals, but he uncharacteristically hit a batter, walked another and both of them scored. The Cardinals don’t waste opportunities. And Cardinal pitching? ….ho hum.
It must be so damn easy to design a Cardinal pitching staff, in 2014 anyway. Just throw the names in a hat and call the first name that pops up your ace. All of em throw 95 mph with movement on the pitch. Ditto for the bullpen. Lefty-righty. It doesn’t matter. Kudos to their scouting department for finding somewhat off the radar prospects and developing them into pitchers.
Marco Estrada kept the Brewers in the game;. It was 3-1 through 6 innings, but the Cardinal’s Shelby Miller struck out 7 and allowed three hits; the lone run a solo homer by Aramis Ramirez. That makes one run for the Brewers over the last 18 innings against the freaking Cardinals. Shelby Miller gets his first win of the season.
Oh yeh, and Matt Holiday hit his first home run of the year; a booming blast to center field in the ninth inning and a few batters later, Jhonny Peralta smashed one off the Club Goodwill sign in the bleachers. Both long balls hit off Jim Henderson. It was the second of the game for Peralta. Final score; Cardinals 6, Brewers 1. Milwaukee seems to be the place where Cardinal slumps suddenly end. Arghhhhh!
The Brewers are 10-4. The Cardinals are 9-5.
It’s Wily Peralta’s turn Wednesday afternoon and in contrast to Estrada, he throws 97 mph with plenty of sink on his pitches. And the Cardinals? Does it matter? He goes by the name Joe Kelly and he’ll still be wearing that red Cardinal uniform and I’m beginning to think color matters. I’ve run out of ideas. The Brewers have a .427 winning % against the Cardinals since 1997. Primal screams!!!!!
Maybe Brewer batters should wear special sunglasses; the kind you order on TV. “Call 1-800…….right now and receive a second pair absolutely free.” Those glasses change the color of the day.