Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dear Jayson, Stop Getting Picked Off Second

In my haste to get a post out this morning, I completely forgot to mention yet another boneheaded play by Jayson Werth on the base paths last night.

With the Phillies up 2-1 in the bottom of the 6th, Werth doubled with one out. Raul Ibanez followed by striking out. With the most clutch catcher in the world stepping to the plate, the Astros wisely decided to intentionally walk Ruiz to get to weak-hitting Wilson Valdez. Nothing exciting could possibly happen on an intentional walk, right? Wrong. Because as Ruiz was trotting down to first after intentional ball four, Houston catcher Humberto Quintero noticed Jayson Werth had wandered off the bag at second and was lackadaisically heading back with his head down. Quintero fired to second and picked off Werth to end the inning. It was the second time in two and half weeks that Werth was picked off second, and this one was even worse.

For starters, it was a one-run game at the time, meaning a hit by Valdez would have been huge, especially considering the Phils wound up losing by a run. Secondly, he got picked off AFTER AN INTENTIONAL WALK! The pitcher didn't even pick him off, the catcher did, after receiving intentional ball four. Unbelievable.

How many times has this guy been picked off in a big situation, especially second? Remember, this isn't exactly new for Jayson. He got picked off second in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series as well.

The question is, how the hell does he let this happen? How can the same guy who I witnessed steal home live and in-person get picked off second numerous times?

How does a guy who stole and 2nd and 3rd in 2007 off Billy Wagner to help propel the Phillies to their first NL East title in forever get picked off second? How does an otherwise heads-up, smart baserunner get picked off second? How does he continue to let this happen?

Because he's an idiot, that's why. Wake the hell up, Jayson. You're in the middle of a god damn playoff chase for fuck's sake. Stop getting picked off second. And start hitting some home runs too while you're at it. You idiot.

And note to the Phillies: Perhaps you should take a page out of Houston's playbook and, you know, intentionally walk a guy every now and then. Like, say, Carlos Lee in the 8th inning. Especially considering some guy named Chris Johnson who was 0-for-3 at the time was batting behind him. I don't know, call me crazy, but I'd rather make a nobody named Chris Johnson beat me than an established veteran RBI machine in Carlos Lee — a Carlos Lee who has actually resembled his former self since the all-star break.

Then again, I tend to advocate playing smart baseball, something Jayson Werth (and Ryan Howard for that matter — just flip the damn thing to Chase!) and the Phillies werent' all that interested in last night. Idiots.

Also, way to pop up that sacrifice attempt in the 9th, Wilson. They should have pinch-hit with Oswalt. We all know he'd get that bunt down.

BallHype: hype it up!

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