There must have been some kind of bases on balls charity event going on in San Diego last night. What? Was there like a pay per walk incentive for Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers last night? I mean, after all, they did walk 10 Padres hitters, including the game winner in the 11th inning. Four balls equal one more loss.
I spoke of the Diamondbacks walk issues in a post on April 26th. Well, clearly things are not getting any better. In fact, they seem to be getting a little worse. Walks will always come back and bite you. They certainly did on Friday night. As far as I’m concerned, with a game on the line, bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th, count 3-2. I have an idea – throw a fastball down the middle as if your life depended on it. Why try to get fancy? Why try to pick a corner? You know what, game is over if you walk him, so might as well throw a strike!
Of course, that’s just me as a fan talking. I’m sure easier said than done. Oh wait, they get paid to throw strikes? yeah, not feeling as bad all of a sudden. So what if he hits it. You threw your best fastball. If it is a hit, so be it. At least you were competing. Giving up a bases loaded game winning walk, to me, is not competing. That is giving up. If a pitcher can’t throw a strike in that situation, he shouldn’t be on the mound.
I realize I couldn’t do it myself if you put me on a mound, then again, that’s not my job. It was Sam Demel’s job in the 11th. It was Armando Galarraga’s job too. He walked six batters in just 4.1 innings. Nothing is more maddening than watching the winning run score because of a walk. You can’t defense a walk. That’s all on the pitcher.
One could argue a lot of balls are the result of a picky umpire. Well, I can tell you, on this night, it was not. Especially in the 11th. Demel didn’t even come close on any of his 4 balls to Chase Headley. Dbacks manager Kirk Gibson was also an unhappy camper after the game and I don’t blame him. You let an entire team down when you give the game up like Demel did. However, it wasn’t all his fault. It just so happens his actions were icing on the cake.