Yakking up a 6-1 lead to a bad baseball team? Might as well scream ‘No Whammies!’ when slamming on the panic button. (Rest in peace Peter Tomarken) But the Cardinals skidded to their 4th straight loss Tuesday night by unleashing something called a Miguel Batista on the Washington D.C. public and it promptly coughed up 5 earned runs and another L.
Batista – mind you I have witnesses to what I’m about to claim – has the flattest major league pitch I’ve seen since Andy Benes (pre-whatever the hell he was taking the last half of 2002). I mean you literally can’t get a Jugs Machine to pitch that straight of a pitch.
So when he’s able to keep his fastball in the lower quarter of the strike zone, he can be surprisingly effective. But if that dude gets lose higher than 36″ off the ground? It’s almost un-missable. The exception being the hitter that literally can’t believe that the ball will not move one iota in any direction before reaching home plate.
It’s the complete antithesis of the knuckle ball, if you will.
Many people are calling for Batista’s dismissal from the Cardinals after this latest bloodletting, but, surprisingly, Batista is still almost 3/4 a run lower on his ERA than his career average. So it’s not like the Cardinals aren’t getting what they expected out of the journeyman… in fact, you can make an argument that he’s better than advertised.
Worse for the Cardinals is the lack of control that Trever Miller seems to posses. His WHIP is now an abysmal 1.62 and he can’t seem to figure out how to locate at all. Miller has been a real unsung hero for the Cardinals the past couple of seasons, always seemingly getting the big LH out whenever TLR needed it.
But in 2011, Miller looks washed-up. And his pitching isn’t good either HIYO!
Seriously, though- the left handed specialist isn’t something that good teams can take for granted in the NL. So Miller better get to the root of his control problems or the Cardinals better be shopping for a bargain basement re-tread that Duncan can have a few months with before the home stretch of games.
To reiterate: BAD loss.