Tagged: Jason Isringhausen

No mas, Izzy

I’ve officially had it. Izzy is Jonah. Throw him off the boat and maybe the waters will calm. Well, don’t do that, but at least relieve him from his closer’s duties temporarily and let him pitch in some lower leverage situations until his chronic gopheritis heals. Isringhausen has had his ups and all, but far too many downs to the tune of 9 blown saves. Izzy has been good for around 88% of his saves the last three seasons. This season, 77%, or about 1 in 4 games ends up with Izzy coughing up the lead.  If Isringhausen was his normal, more reliable self we’d be 5  or 6 games ahead of the Reds right now, not just 1.

I’d like to see Wainwright get the oppurtunity, here’ my case with the help of fangraphs.com

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Adam and Izzy are about the same as far as K’s go.

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Izzy has cut down his walks some later in the season, but Wainwright has been much stingier with the free passes. I don’t know about you, but nothing is more frustrating then watching the Cowardly Isringlion walk guys like Rich Aurilia on 4 pitches to get to anyone, because all to often it’s come back to kill him, much to Cardinal fan’s chagrin. 

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But worst of all is the homerun rate. This is the clincher. All too often we’ve seen him try and go back to his Benedict Arnold cutter, which usually ends in him walking off the mound with a despondent look on his face as the opponents are mobbing each other at home plate. On the other hand, Wainwright has allowed less then a HR per 9.

I know that some would argue that Adam’s only a rookie, but he’s already been in the fire of high leverage situations and has come out on top more often then not.

My only concern, and it is a big concern, is his platoon split. Righties are hitting under .200 against Adam, southpaws over .300. Not only could that render him ineffective as a closer, it hurts his ability as a set-up guy this year and a starter the next (if that’s still the Card’s plan for him.) If he could remedy that, it would go along way. I have no idea if those sort of splits have dogged him throughout the minors or not. All I know is for now, please no more Izzy.

As for the game, you hate to see 7 RBI’s from Albert go to waste like that. I’ve been a fan of the Weaver trade, but the guy is mental. Just watching his body language and facial expressions is sick. He loses it all to often. That was a back-breaker of a game, and I’m not sure we can come back from that one.

Man up, Izzy.

I like Jason Isringhausen, but here is my problem with him. When you agree to become a closer, you forfeit your right to be a chicken-poop. I don’t care if Rich Aurilia supposively owns the Cardinals, he’s still a .276/.330/.440 career hitter. That is no one to be afraid of enough to throw a four pitch walk to and frankly there is no one in that Red’s lineup where doing that makes any sense. There were a lot of things wrong with that game, but in the end he’s the guy the trust in the 9th to hold a lead and he didn’t. Again. and again. and again. and again. and again. and again. and again.

Now I’ll hand it to him that he’s done quite  well since he decided to go after hitters with his fastball and quit working around guys. Why he deviated from that tonight, I have no idea but I would think he wouldn’t do it again. Right?!?…

I’m biting my tongue here

From spewing a string of obscenities. Let’s just nerd it up and let the Win Expectancy Finder spell it out here for us. When Izzy came into the game, the Cardinals probablity of winning was 95.4%. When Valentin flew out to right, the percentage of a Cardinal W went up to 98.6%. After Lopez’s double, the percentage went down to 94.5%. So victory was still well in hand.  Walking Rich Aurilia hurt, dropping the percentage of a win to 86.3%. The wild pitch didn’t help either, as both runners advanced and the Cardinal’s win probability went down to 84.1%. (UPDATE: 6/6/06 Here’s the Win Probabilty Graph Courtesy of www.fangraphs.com).

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After Griffey’s three run shot, the probability of a Cardinal victory was 16.5%. Then  inexplicably, Izzy proceeded to walk Dunn. He then was pulled from the game and met with a round of boos, and I even I can’t say they weren’t well deserved. Your job as the closer is to throw strikes. It’s certainly ain’t easy, but that’s why he’s getting paid $8.75 mil, and that was a must win game with second-place Cincy now only 2 out of first. And that’s 2 losses in the last 4 days that should have been wins.

I’m not a booer, at least not at games but I’d like to see anyone, even Albert, try and defend Izzy now. I’ve quoted Isringhausen on this before, and I’ll quote again here "I’ve been known to walk guys to get to guys I want to face." I gotta think he didn’t want to walk Aurilia to face Griffey, but I wonder if he was thinking he was setting himself up for a double-play. He ended up setting himself up for disaster and this act is getting so tired. Take a look at Izzy’s walk rate this season. This is before tonight’s game.

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That’s right folks, he’s off the charts. Izzy is striking out 8.34 per 9, which matches his walk rate of 8.34 per 9. Oddity of oddities. That’s…well that’s just downright funky, and not in a James Brown way. More like in a 10 month old casserole you found in the back of your fridge funk. Yet he’s leading the NL in saves, which goes to show how overrated saves are.

I expect better out of Izzy, and I still have faith he’ll turn it around a bit, but I’m worn out from watching him crash and burn twice in four days. And I’m even worn out from watching him pitch around batters instead of just going after them. Have some freakin’ stones, please!

(End of late night, aggravated, sleepy-headed rant.)