April 29, 2007
Big Papi On Kei Igawa
Yesterday, I wrote:
I did see Igawa get out of the first. Sounds like he did a great job today, overall. Six innings...when the team really needed it...4.04 pitchers per batter...15.5 pitches per inning...that's all good stuff. But, when I see that he threw 42% of his pitches for balls...I have to wonder. Did the Sox help out Igawa in some way today? Sure, 58% of pitches for strikes is not terrible...but, it's not what you usually expect to see on six shutout innings.
Later, I saw that the Red Sox David Ortiz was not that impressed by Igawa:
"He [Igawa] was all right, nothing special," said Sox slugger David Ortiz. "A lot of hittable pitches. We were just not hitting them."
Interesting quote. I'm surprised to see this from someone like Ortiz. He must really mean it. We'll see what happens the next time Igawa gets to pitch again. Maybe having hope for him is a mistake?
Posted by Steve Lombardi at April 29, 2007 08:43 AM
Whether he meant it or not it was pretty disrespectful, esp coming from someone who hit into two DP's.
Papi always says stuff like this. He said the same thing about Aaron Small after the Sox saw him for the first time. In face, I think it was the EXACT same thing. I recall him saying "Nothing special."
Steve, I understand you missed the game, but even in the post about the game, you seem to assume Igawa just got lucky. That's not true at all. He had good velocity and though he definitely threw too many pitches out of the strikezone, his slider and change were working well.
Igawa struck out Drew twice (swinging) and also Manny. Those are pretty good hitters. His fastball was good enough to blow it by Lugo for a swinging strikeout, too.
It's funny reading some comments today -- it's like no one wants to believe in Igawa. I think the only reason he was demoted to the 'pen was because Torre doesn't like him. He wasn't bad enough to deserve it. He had one bad outing. Everyone has one of those now and again. And he's a much better pitcher than Karstens, who is a fringe major leaguer.
It just seems like things were stacked against Igawa from the start -- people disliked him and doubted him before he threw a pitch. (Torre included.) Maybe now he can calm down and just pitch.
Well, he was probably right about Aaron Small:) To me, this read like sour grapes and was pretty disrespectful. I actually don't mind Ortiz unlike the other 24 or so Sox, but he has his moments.
I didn't get to see Igawa pitch, but your analysis sounds dead on bailey. He's obviously not going to have results like this every time out, but it's not like guys were hitting rocket shots that were getting hit right at people; he got some big strikeouts and some double plays.
By the way quote of the day from Torre via LoHud: "Mientkiewicz is in the lineup because of Wang being on the mound. “For defense,” Torre said."
In case anyone was confused and thought it was for his bat.
"To me, this read like sour grapes and was pretty disrespectful."
So if he truly believes igawa isn't anything special, he should lie? Either you want cliched crap or you want the truth. If he's correct, we'll soon see. If he's wrong and igawa is something special, that will show also.
Ortiz has given plenty of praise to pitchers before, so it's not a case of ortiz never wanting to give credit.
I don't think he went to the pen because Torre doesn't like him. Yeah only one of his outings was really bad, but in the others he was still keeping the ball up. He got away with it in Japan, but he can't do that here. Guidry worked with him extensively in a bullpen session and yesterday he was much better at keeping the ball down. I didn't even mind the pitches way out of the strike zone. I think it helped to keep the Red Sox hitters off balance, a la Nuke LaLoosh.
Posted by: Jen at April 29, 2007 06:38 PM
There was a lot of comments like that coming from the Sox line-up. I didn't hear all of them, but today's radio show of Mike and the Mad Dog seemed pretty unhappy about it. When the Yankees are unable to hit off a pitcher, they don't make excuses for it. This comment from Ortiz seems not only disrespectful, but just plain poor. What made Igawa's "nothing special" pitching so unhittable by a team that hit pretty well the 2 games surrounding Igawa's?
I honestly think that Torre's decision to start Karstens rather than Igawa was that although the two had near identical numbers in their last starts, Igawa's was against the Devil Rays, where Karstens's was against the Red Sox. he had the experience.
By the way--this is a great blog. I am usually not a fan of blogs, but this one's a pretty good time.