Thursday, June 17, 2010

Three and Five

MLB handed down their decision on Yorvit Torrealba's 'discussion' with home plate umpire Larry Vanover Monday night - 3 game suspension.  Yorvit was not amused, as quoted by Chris Jenkins:
If it’s a fine, all right, whatever, but three games is a little bit too much. One game, two games, I’m gonna get my lesson no matter what. But I don’t see umpires getting fined and I don’t see umpires getting suspended. They make a lot of mistakes.
Jon Garland had a choice comment too.  I love this one:
Garland said Wednesday that he’d pay Torrealba’s fine in appreciation for the catcher backing [him] up.
The Padres will appeal the suspension, but now that Torrealba has continued to rip the umpire in the press, I would not expect the length to get reduced.  I wonder if an appeal has ever resulted in the suspension getting longer.  For the record, good for Torrealba for expressing himself clearly, and when will MLB make the review of umpiring performance more transparent?  I think some level of public accountability with umpires who make repeated bad calls, are confrontational, and/or are inconsistent pitch-to-pitch or inning-to-inning would go a long way to restoring their reputation as a whole with the players and fans.

Padres lost 6-3 on Monday, won 8-2 on Tuesday (thanks to some more stellar pitching by Mat Latos and the first Padre home run by Aaron Cunningham - a grand slam no less), then sent Kevin Correia to the mound Wednesday.  I have Correia on my fantasy team, and flirted with starting him vs Toronto.  Our league uses strikeouts as a pitching category, the Blue Jays strike out a lot - seemed like a good combination.  Correia, however, really hasn't pitched well since his brother died (1-2, 6.10 ERA, league has an .829 OPS against him), so I left him on my bench.

It turned out to be a good thing for me, not so good for the Padres. Correia made it into the sixth, but didn't record an out; he gave up 5 ER in his 5+ innings of work and took the loss in a 7-1 Padre defeat.

This start followed Correia's usual pattern for this year.  He's pretty good in the first three innings (although he gave up a first inning run yesterday), posting a 3.58 ERA in 13 starts.  The more looks the order gets at him, the worse he pitches.  He's given up 25 earned runs in 32 1/3 innings 4, 5, and 6 pitched.  Strangely, he's not allowed a run in the fourth inning all year, so if we strip out the 12 fourth-innings he's now thrown, he's actually given up 25 earned runs in 20 1/3 innings 5 and 6 pitched (which is an ERA of 11.08).

The last Padre game I went to when Correia pitched, Bud Black had the bullpen up as the fifth inning started which, based on these statistics, is prudent.  Kevin Correia doesn't degrade gracefull;, in other words, he doesn't give advance warning he's lost it.  Correia goes from throwing well to getting battered in a matter of pitches vice hitters or innings.

Kevin Correia was the team's best pitcher down the stretch last season, but right now one would have to rank him as the team's Number 5 starter based on performance.  Here's a radical thought.  If Kevin Correia continues to struggle, perhaps Tim Stauffer should get a crack at starting once he returns to the big club.  Stauffer should be headed out on a rehab stint sometime late this week.  Correia's four good innings per appearance would make for a very effective long man out of the bullpen.

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