Sunday, July 4, 2010

Rock Solid Recrap: Meet The New Lightning Rod

Exit: Franklin Morakes.  Enter: Manuel Corpas.  

Manny Corpas

It pains me that Manny is receving and will continue to receive the boos that were recently reserved for Franklin Morales.  There's a really big difference between the two pitchers and their situations.

Morales' struggles were and are a product of his own mental toughness... or lack there of.  Even though I'm not a big fan of booing a guy with that fragile a mental state, at least you can point to his failures being a product of his own weakness/ability.  It's somewhat justifiable.

Manny Corpas is a different story.  His problems really have little to do with anything he's done, unless you consider him not telling Jim Tracy he needs a day off every now and then to be a crime.

Corpas has nothing left in the tank.  No short reliever could withstand the workoad Jim Tracy piled up on his arm in April and May.  Corpas had no experience as a long man, didn't really prepare for that role in ST, yet Jim Tracy kept using him for 2-3 innings at a time.  Burning precious bullets in non-pressure situations.

Manny had a lot of success in that role early, despite his lack of experience there.  Hell, I even said Manny was the second most valuable player on the team in April.  He was.  The work he did was fabulous.  So good, in fact, that Jim Tracy decided to shift him to the closer role.

There you have another type of workload. It's still physically demanding, of course, but here we're talking a 100% jump in mental demands   Manny did fine there for awhile, but everything finally caught up to him in that Milwaukee series when Tracy tried squeezing four days in a row out of him.  That idea was designed to fail from the get go, and boy did it fail miserably.

Sadly, Manny hasn't been the same guy since.  He's just a shell of the pitcher we saw in April.  His pitches are flat, and his confidence is shot.  That's all on Jim Tracy, because his job is to maximize a player's usefulness, not run him into the ground physically and drain him mentally.

Matt Belisle is in a similar spot, but has held up a little better than Manny because he has a history as a starter.  His arm is used to the workload.  That said, he will remain on implosion and fatigue watch, because you can only push these guys so far, and Jim Tracy seems far too willing to test those limits.

This is what has gotten Jim fired from his two previous managerial gigs.  He doesn't learn.  Never will.

Joe Beimel

As David Martin pointed out earlier, what makes the situation ten times more frustrating and baffling is San Francisco had three left-handed hitters due up that 7th inning, and Tracy had a fresh Joe Beimel at his disposal.

He goes to Corpas.  Why?  To keep Pat Burrell on the bench?


Just go with your BEST guys or your FRESH guys.  When your best guy and your fresh guy are one in the same, then the decision should be a no-brainer.

Not in the world of Jim Tracy.


Ubaldo Jimenez 

This might sound weird.  It's almost as if Ubaldo and Jason Hammel have changed uniforms. The one bad inning bug that bit Hammel for so long is now latched on to Ubaldo's right arm.

Of course it goes deeper than that.  Ubaldo is likely fatiguing just as the guys above are.  That's to be expected though from a starter.  They go through periods of poor mechanics and other such ups and downs.

Tired arms.  Poor command.  Bad luck.  Lack of run support.  Lots of run support.  Poor defense.

I'm not worried about him.  It's just the natural flow of the season.

Besides that, If Fowler gets to that ball in the 3rd, it's a different scenario.  That ball dropping led to six runs that would not have scored.

That doesn't serve as an excuse for Jimenez, but it does emphasize the fine line every pitcher walks in a given game.  And to me it just emphasizes even more how special he was to avoid those situations entirely for two months.


Jason Hammel vs. Matt Cain

Hammel needs to be good here.  The Rockies absolutety can't afford to give this series away and give the Giants any more momentum.  BIG game.