It’s not too often when I have to tip the cap to an opponent’s stellar play, but last night Brandon Phillips made an awesome catch and flipped it behind his back to shortstop Eugenio Suarez. It was a thing of beauty even though the Cubs lost 5-4. Take notice Starlin Castro.
They should have a benchmark for pitches thrown for a pitcher. It could be 100 before yanking him from the game. I think most managers have that unwritten rule and can gauge a pitcher’s threshold.
Then there’s Joe Maddon. I’m not criticising the guy, he’s one of the most creative manager’s in the game and I’m glad he’s in the dugout of the Cubs.
If I were a manager, and just like most bleacher bums, I have my two cents and they’re usually wrong. I love complete pitchers. To me, those kind of pitchers bring championships. One thing I would work on in camp is for a pitcher to throw each of his pitches in the arsenal at least 100 times. Keep them on target. That’s my benchmark. Sometimes, it’s not the best thing for match ups.
“That falls under the category of the right thing to do, but it didn’t work,” Maddon said. “Frazier had two good at-bats. I’m just trying to keep it right there. Grimm has been outstanding. He hasn’t been good, he’s been outstanding, so it’s the right spot for him. Even with Bruce, I felt really good about him there.”
He’s right but I also believe the best rule of thumb for any player and this goes in life as well, is to dig down in the trenches and for a manager to put his faith in the player. Let him slug it out on the mound. In the end if he loses, well, that’s a risk they have to take because it’ll build character knowing that the manager trusts the guy on the mound.
Oh, and give a hi five to David Ross for getting ejected. He was sticking up for his teammate. Joie Maddon had a talk with the umpire.
“I told Paul what I thought, it was kind of rapid,” Maddon said. “… It caught me off guard. I had my head down when the play occurred. I was looking at something then I hear the yelling, then I knew what had happened. Then I thought it was over and obviously it wasn’t over.”