SportsNation Blog Archives J.A. Happ
There's an awful quarter of a second right before a batted ball hits a pitcher in the head when everyone realizes what's about to happen and no one -- not even the pitcher himself -- can do anything about it. J.A. Happ experienced that worst-case scenario in Tuesday night's game against the Rays, when a line drive by Desmond Jennings sent him to the hospital. Happ is in stable condition, fortunately, and is likely to be discharged from the hospital Wednesday, but something like this inevitably brings the issue of pitcher safety to the forefront. Helmets or other protective gear may be a tough sell, but it could be worth it the next time a line drive hisses toward a defenseless pitcher.
At least if Pedro Martinez struggles in his initial starts with the Phillies, he's playing for a fan base famous for its patience and empathy. Yes, this should end well.
There was a time when SportsNation would have taken Martinez over just about any pitcher who ever lived. Asked to pick a starter for an all-time AL All-Star team earlier this season, voters picked Martinez of 2000 vintage ahead of the best of Roger Clemens, Lefty Grove, Jim Palmer and Johan Santana. Of course, there was also a time when a majority of people thought Tracy McGrady was a better leader than Kobe Bryant.
As Martinez makes his Phillies debut against the Cubs Wednesday night, he can't even earn enough popular support to merit his spot in the rotation. And considering SportsNation already thinks he's a borderline, at best, first-ballot Hall of Fame candidate, the next few weeks could make those memories of his best years fade away.
Moyer's ERA and winning percentage are much better in the last month or so. In fact, during July, when the Phillies turned it around, Moyer was 4-1 with a 3.30 ERA. He also won 5 straight starts during June and July. I think any team would want that.” -- UWhusky2
Nobody really knows whether Pedro will be effective. Smoltz and Glavine were both effective in their minor league outings but were unable to make it back in the bigs. Give Pedro a few starts and if he doesn't perform no harm done. Moyer has done nothing this year so there is little to be lost by replacing him in the rotation. If Pedro pitches well keep running him out there, if not Moyer is ready to step back in.” -- Carol Vessey
Well [Moyer] has been an starting pitcher for the last 25 years, so of coarse he is gonna feel negative about being put in the pen, the guy deserves better respect after what he did for them last year. We still love you Jamie here in seattle and we hope you come back next year strong as before.” -- nao888
In a past life, Pedro Martinez was perhaps the most dominant pitcher to have ever played the game. He struck out double-digit batters on a regular basis. He made exceptional hitters look confused and silly. The numbers he put up (in the middle of the so-called "Steroid Era," no less) seem like statistical outliers when compared to his peers.
It's a little sad, then, to see a good outing by Pedro in Double-A praised as indicative that he "still has it." For sure, he may well indeed still be able to get major league batters out -- after all, Jamie Moyer is still doing it -- but there's also the danger of Pedro appearing as an old Willie Mays with the Mets, unable to run down fly balls and letting grounders skip through his legs. That being said, Pedro could be a force out of the bullpen, but it still could be a sad end to one of baseball's greatest pitching careers.Unfortunately, SportsNation isn't confident that Pedro has anything left in the tank. We'll soon see if he'll be able to prove his doubters wrong.
Hooray. Thank you Ruben. Sad to say this about Moyer, but he should be the one to go to the pen.” -- althemarinerfan
So how about we keep Moyer to make every start against the Marlins... 6 man rotation? Look, it may keep from hurting feelings, but that takes starts away from the other 4 Phillie pitchers and that just doesn't make sense.” -- andrewc2189