caught looking

a blog about the philadelphia phillies. not to be confused, exactly, with "caught looking" the debut album by independent/unsigned/unheard of singer/songwriter greg roth, who is, coincidently, yours truly.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

This Country Was Founded on Property Rights

Someone want to explain to me how a control pitcher who doesn't walk anyone in a complete game against the leagues best team is unable to throw a ball 15 feet to first base? Anyone else see the extemely sad irony in that? Jon Lieber may say that he takes his fielding seriously, and he may only have 2 errors all year, but we've seen them both, the first one being when he sustained this season's DL injury. This is not a man who takes his fielding seriously enough to work on it. That's the most galling thing about it. Throwing to first base, if he knows he can't make that throw, should be a top priority for a supposed staff ace on a semi-contending team. But, hey maybe we're over-reacting. It's not like he's making $7 million per and it's not like he's got other pitching woes to worry about.

As much at fault as Lieber is the starting leftfielder, who we've defended in the past. Well, that stops here. This team, if it is going to get over the hump, needs players that take charge. Not taking charge and catching that ball in leftfield is bad enough -- a major league outfield busts his ass to reclaim that ball from the shortstop after a bad jump. A major league outfielder takes OWNERSHIP of the play. OK, forget that. In the 9th inning, the same guy took three strikes on the way to a backwards K, a department he leads the league in. Sure, the other team's closer has a reputation for striking hitters out. Striking out is not the crime -- not taking control of the at-bat is. This a game with a playoff atmosphere on the road, on national TV. This was the same pitcher who called you a 'rat' earlier in the season. A major league hitter takes OWNERSHIP of that at-bat. He doesn't look for a walk and leave it to the next guy. He goes down swinging if he has to. Shameful.

Giving away a game like that last night is inexcusable. It should suspend thoughts of the post-season for while, seeing as how's it's enough to make one squawk. So, instead of the playoff-tested veteran getting a series win, now the ball and the responsibility are passed to the rookie Scott Mathieson, he of A ball at this time last year. Let's hope he takes some ownership.


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