Friday, May 20, 2005

Word on the Street

Rumor has it that Huston Street's velocity drops between 3-5 mph when he pitches on consecutive days. I take that back. It's not a rumor. It's a fact.

"His arm's fine, and Huston's a special talent, but you've gotta be real careful not to wear him out."

--Curt Young
With our bullpen already in shambles and Octavio Dotel going on the disabled list, Street has assumed the role of closer. Knowing what he knows about Huston's velocity problem, it would have made a lot of sense if Macha had formulated a logical plan outlining when he was and wasn't going to use Street. Not a long plan. Not a complicated plan. Just a logical one. How about this one:

I will only use my new closer, Huston Street, in 9th-inning save situations.

Easy enough, right? Exceptions, of course, could be made. Maybe Macha could allow himself to stray away from the plan if Street hadn't worked in three consecutive days or if he was rested and needed to get four or five tough outs. Whatever leeway he game himself, he should have ensured that his plan didn't put any undue strain on Street's still very young arm.

Credit a pitcher with a save when he meets all three of the following conditions: (1) He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his club; and (2) He is not the winning pitcher; and (3) He qualifies under one of the following conditions: (a) He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning; or (b) He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, or at bat, or on deck (that is, the potential tying run is either already on base or is one of the first two batsmen he faces); or (c) He pitches effectively for at least three innings. No more than one save may be credited in each game.

Situation 3a is the one that's easiest for me to remember because it's the most common one. If a pitcher enters the game in the ninth with a lead of no more than three runs, he's in line for a save.

San Francisco - Bottom of 9th
Score - OAK 8....SF 4
Huston Street pitching for Oakland

Sonofabitch. Macha managed to screw Street on his very first day in his new role. I should have seen this coming. I shouldn't be surprised. But I am. This dope never ceases to amaze me.

Is there any doubt that our Athletics WON'T find themselves in a save situation tomorrow?

Here's a new plan:

Fire Macha.


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