Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bludgeoning

There had been a flicker of hope, in some corners, about the Padres improved play since the All-Star break. In fact, since June 12th they had been the best team in the NL West - a game better than San Francisco.  And they had gone into Pittsburgh, taken 2 of 3 from the Wild Card contenders, then taken the first game of a 4-game set in Atlanta, the Wild Card leaders.

Then a Logan Forsythe home run was the only run they scored in the final 3 games against the Braves.  THEN they come home and get crushed by the Giants last night, 10-1.  Reality check.

One wonders how different the game would have been if Forsythe's throw to third had been more on-line and nailed Angel Pagan for the second out.  Marco Scutaro's bloop single might have been caught, and Ross Ohlendorf could have escaped down only 2-0.  They likely still would have lost - Matt Cain was tough last night, not allowing a hit until the fifth inning - but it could have remained competitive.  Who knows.

Watching Ohlendorf get hit around in the third inning made me wonder:  exactly why did they keep this guy and cut Kip Wells?

Wells was designated for assignment on 3 August.  Since that date Ohlendorf's been really bad - 3 total starts, 11 innings pitched, opponents OPS'ing almost 900 against him.  Including his 2 August start at Cincinnati he's failed to pitch into the fourth inning in 2 of his last 4 starts, and he got pulled in that inning during one of the two starts he did see the fourth.  Not real good, that.

Wells?  Well, he was knocked out in the fifth inning of 3 of his last 4 Padres starts, and two of those games were against the worst two teams in the NL (Colorado and Houston).  Not real good either.

Comparing the two, neither strikes out many and both walk a lot of guys (Wells 20 in his 37 innings, Ohlendorf 24 in his 48).  The league was hitting .287 on balls in play off Wells, .342 off Ohlendorf.  Both tended to give up HR.  The only statistic I could find where Ohlendorf had a measurable advantage over Wells was FIP.  Ross' FIP so far in 2012 is 4.90, including last night's shellacking.  Kip's was 5.85.  (xFIP they're actually much closer; 5.28 to 5.51)  It would be kind of interesting if the main reason the team kept Ohlendorf is because his advanced metrics were better than Wells.  Or, it could be as simple as Ohlendorf is 5 years younger than Wells and throws slightly harder.

I dunno.  I thought the Padres had a chance to win every time Wells took the ball.  It's not a matter of if Ohlendorf will give up a big inning, it's when.  Neither of these guys were going to be with the team in 2013; why not keep the guy who seemed to be doing a better job of keeping your team in the game.

(Hopefully I'll be posting more now.  My schedule seems to have settled down a bit, finally.)

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