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Friday, May 1, 2009

Dial 1-800-Pedro

Last graph from a story on

Cabrera ended up having a quality start, pitching six innings while giving up three runs on four hits in a 9-4 loss.

A quality start? Really? That's why the stat is worthless. Dude set a team record with four wild pitches. Four. As Chico (the writer) notes in his gamer, that's as many as Greg Maddux had in three seasons (1999-2001).

I didn't see anything out there that made me say "quality." To quote my blogging colleague at, who was there and saw more of it than I did: "How Daniel Cabrera survived six innings is beyond belief? He was all over the place with his pitches. Cabrera couldn't find the plate. And when he did, he was bouncing the baseball over it, not above it to be ruled a strike. Does anyone with such potential look more timid on the mound than Daniel Cabrera? He is so frustrating to watch that you have to feel sorry for him. What in his makeup hinders his game? Our Number 45's four wild pitches tonight were unbelievable to watch."

I realize this loss isn't on him. Nice job by the bullpen in the ninth. But still. Haven't we seen enough of Cabrera? Does anyone really believe Randy St. Claire is that much of a magician?

We went out with some friends last night so I didn't see much of the game. I watched the first inning at home and listen to Rob Dibble deliver some criticism for Cabrera's approach. Nice first pitch to Pujols. At least it didn't leave the park. I listened to a couple of innings, turning the game on just as Charlie and Dave were going into shock over Cabrera's inability to hold Pujols on first.

If the team thinks this is a reclaimation project worth pursuing, let him reclaim himself in Syracuse. Bring up Stammen. What's Clippard doing? No love for Pedro? FJB had a list yesterday of available pitchers, one of them being Odalis Perez. Someone on that list has to be a reliable starter. See the cool links to the right and find one you like.

We've seen flashes from the other four in the rotation, particularly the rookies. Changing up the other spot won't fix the bullpen - not sure what will at this point but Beimel can't get active soon enough.

I'm open to any and all suggestions for what to do about Cabrera's spot in the rotation.

Just so you don't think I'm down on everything right now, I'm not: I love the blue alternate jersies. Birthday in 11 days.


Anonymous said...

It was almost embarrassing to listen to Rob Dibble berate Cabrera. Then I thought, I pretty much agree with him and what was really ambarrassing was watching Cabrera. If we have to keep him (Cabrera, that is), I think AAA is too good for him. I say send him back to A-ball and let him start over. That's where they are supposed to learn.

As for the lasting 6 innings, I think what "helped" him was that he couldn't locate his fastball. So, at 3-0, 3-?? he just couldn't put one down the middle. He was able to get a walk and start over with the next batter.

Dave P.

Ryan said...

Dibble has been giving the company line all year. At times, he's been a little over the top with his commentary, saying the Nats have the talent to win 95 games, blah, blah, blah....

How long before he throws his hands in the air and says "Eff it. These guys stink!"?

Two months? Two weeks? Two days?

Chris Needham said...

The Cabrera hate (not necessarily here) is getting to be over-the-top.

The guy sucks, but fer crissake, people need to stop taking him for what he CAN be, and what he is.

Don't look at the path, just look at the end.

And at the end of the day, Cabrera's a perfectly acceptable #4/5 type starting pitcher. His value is that he's going to be out there 5+ innings every 5 days, so that the Nats aren't forced to dip into the non-existent depth they have in the minors.

He's not supposed to win games. He's supposed to keep the team from getting blown out. And if he had half a feckin' major league defense behind him, he'd have done that in basically all his starts.

Yes, he looks ugly. Not, it isn't pretty. But show me a 5th starter in the league who pitches like Greg Maddux! Fifth starters, by definition, aren't good. Otherwise they wouldn't be fifths!

erocks33 said...

Chris, I couldn't agree more. Cabrera is pitching as he was advertised. Even last night, he had no control but he did go 6 innings and he left with the LEAD!

For the most part, he'll pitch 2 to 3 good innings (zero runs), have one or two lucky innings (load the bases but give up only one run type), and one really bad inning (two or more runs). But he will usually get you to the 6th or 7th inning giving up 3 or 4. And with this offense, they should be in most of the games to that point.

Blame this loss squarely on the bullpen. You can not walk 6 players, hit one and balk in one run in the final three innings and expect to win.

Do I want a team full of Cabrera's? Hell no! But last night he did his job. Allbeit an ugly job, but he did battle through 6 innings and left them with a lead.

Victor said...

FWIW, a "quality start" is a stat invented by a sportswriter in the mid-80's (per Wikipedia, he was from Philadelphia, which conspiracy theorists may wish to consider. *My* conspiracy theory is he had a serious drinking problem.). How an in-game ERA of 4.5 translates to quality is beyond me...So Mr. Harris is right: Sierra Charlie the "quality start" stat.

Simon Oliver Lockwood said...

There's nothing wrong with the Quality Start as a quick-and-dirty analysis. If a pitcher did nothing but throw the worst type of QS's -- 6IP, 3ER -- his team would win about 70% of its games. There's nothing wrong with that.

Cabrera's start last night was ugly, but the result of it was that the Nats were still very much in the game when he left (given that they were leading).

An Briosca Mor said...

Chris, Jimbo himself couldn't have said it better. Are you just taking his old press releases and cleaning them up into the King's English?

Chris Needham said...

Yeah. He pays well -- in ham and leather.

MikeHarris said...

He can get you a radio gig, too!