We may have all enjoyed Eric Clapton or Neil Young, some of us may have even enjoyed Matchbox 20, but the fire tonight burns for our distaste of Mark Redman's example of awful. Need I go on and on about the lack of anything resembling a major league pitch from our portly fifth starter? I flash back to my talk with John Schuerholz during spring training in which this exchange took place:
John Schuerholz: We had a pitcher who got hurt; Mike Hampton got hurt. We didn't have an experienced starter and a veteran starter - a guy who throws strikes who keeps you in ballgames. We have really always believed that Mark could do that, we think he can, we think he's a perfect fit for us, and we're glad we got him.
There are many things I could say here; (1) How glad are you now? (2) Throws strikes, really? (3) Keeps you in ballgames? (4) Experienced...veteran...perfect fit...where the hell is Charlie Hough, is he available? At this point we may have to declare that there is such a thing as the Mark Redman Mercy Rule. He's 0-and-2, and hasn't shown "anything" short of an 86 mph fastball = dump the SOB. Activate Cormier, put Villarreal in the rotation (something I've suggested all winter), give anyone else a chance to grow and mature in the majors - something Redman has proven he's no longer capable of.
If I must say something in defense of "The Plug" I will say that he hasn't pitched in six days - two days more than normal rest.
But Redman is not necessarily the real troubling news of the night. In the seventh inning Chad Paronto came up lame on a pitch he threw and hobbled off the field with an apparent injury to his hamstring (or some sort of leg related injury). With Paronto being the best of the class of 2006, it would be a major blow to our bullpen if he were to miss any amount of time. In addition to that possible injury, Macay McBride was once again rather ineffective in his two one-thirds of an inning. With two more walks tonight, McBride has now walked 11 batters in just three total innings pitched spanning five games. Could there be some sort of Cather-esque bullpen shift forthcoming? If Paronto does need to be disabled, could we see Moylan? If McBride is going to continue his ineffectiveness, shouldn't we let him work it out in the minors (he does have an option left)? Do we recall Devine? Actually, I'm all for putting Hampton on the 60-day to open up a roster spot for Will Startup! (Perhaps that's a pipe dream, but he's got a hot hand right now, and Macay does not.)
Other than the above, it was a rather miserable game. It appears that Francoeur's glove may need a tap from Pedro Serrano's voodoo charm after Jeff dropped two balls that should have been caught. Paronto struggled before getting injured. We didn't do much hitting and still have about five regulars or platoon regulars hitting below .200. For a team that's 7-and-3, we seem to be having a lot of problems!
But hey! We still got fireworks after the game...
Florida 11, Atlanta 4 at Turner Field
Florida Record: (6-4)
Atlanta Record: (7-3)
Winning pitcher - Dontrelle Willis (3-0)
Losing pitcher - Mark Redman (0-2)