Thursday, June 30, 2011

Time For a Change: Blown Save

In Wednesday night's game against the Giants, Ryan Dempster pitched great for the Cubs.  He entered the final inning with a 1-0 lead, but gave up a double to the first hitter.

The Cubs went to Carlos Marmol to close out the game, and in true Marmol fashion, the bases were loaded and a run scored before a double play got them off of the field.  Of course, Aramis Ramirez drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 9th and the Cubs got the win.

The pitching "win" in these situations, however, is kind of odd.  Dempster gave up no runs himself, but because his baserunner, inherited by Marmol, ended up scoring the tying run, Dempster automatically lost his chance at being awarded the win.  Marmol, the pitcher who actually let Dempster's runner score, then became the pitcher of record and did receive the win when the Cubs scored later that inning.

Is it time to change this?  I believe it is.

I don't think it is fair for Marmol (or any relief pitcher) to be credited with a loss for allowing inherited runners to score.  But in this case, when an inherited runner scored only the tying run, if the home team scores to win in the bottom of the inning, I believe the starting pitcher should be given the win.  The relief pitcher can have the save, which is a more valuable stat to him anyway.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Justin Bell Never Disappoints

Ex-driver Justin Bell is one of the "on the scene" reporters for SpeedTV for most of their long distance endurance races. At Daytona this year for the 24 Hours, he spent a considerable amount of time interviewing fans in Daytona's backstretch Fan Zone, who seemed only tangentially aware that there was a race going on (in fact, I think one of them claimed that they were waiting to see Dale Earnhardt Jr., who may not have even been in the state of Florida at the time). Usually, when Justin's doing these remote reports, it seems that Justin may be suffering imparement of some sort? I can not say if this imparement stems from massive sleep deprivation, or a beverage or five that he's recently consumed (be it coffee, Red Bull, or something a little stronger), or if it's just from years of carbon monoxide intake in the cockpits of enclosed race cars, but whatever it is, the results are usually spectacular. This year at Le Mans, Justin has not disappointed. While saying something about how this is his last gig working for SpeedTV, he claimed to have found an old "friend" of Dorsey Schroeder, who is working with the booth crew this weekend.

This man should be getting a raise, not walking papers. The campaign to save Justin Bell's broadcasting career starts right here. Who's with me?

Happy Race Weekend, Y'all!

Only time for a quick post today, but I just had to weigh in and say that I'm...ahem...Positively Geeked for all of the racing that's on this weekend. In short, here's what we've got:

- 24 Hours of Le Mans - Starting in, oh, about 5 minutes, and running until...well, this time tomorrow. It's sure to be another EPIC battle between Audi's new R18 and Peugeot's new 908, with the Sebring winning Oreca 908 HDi-FAP (the previous model Peugeot) playing the role of "garbage man", should all of the to six diesels stumble. Don't look for any petrol cars up front though, since they were some 7 seconds off the pace of the top diesels in qualifying. GT should be a fascinating battle as well, with some 19 different manufacturers (or, at least it feels like it's that many) in play for the win.

- IndyCar Firestone Twin 275s - You can look elsewhere for a good, full preview of this race, but here's what you need to know: Two races, two winners. Race 1 starting lineup decided by yesterday's qualifying session (with Alex Tagliani on the pole again, just like at Indianapolis). Race 2 starting lineup decided by random draw. Hilarity is bound to ensue.

- Canadian Grand Prix - The Red Bulls look quick again, but it appears from Friday Practice times that there are several teams that should be in play for the win. Also, the Canadian GP has a tendency to get a little...let's go with "chaotic" from time to time. Airs tomorrow at 1:00 PM Eastern on Fox, so nobody reading this should have the excuse that they don't get the channel. Well, unless you don't have a TV.

There's more going on (MotoGP from Silverstone, NASCAR at Pocono, not that I endorse watching NASCAR), but that's all there's time for now. As a special bonus, the good folks over at Fast Lane Daily are doing 25 hours worth of live, streaming racing coverage, with Leo Parente apparently going to do all 25 hours himself, along with cameos from all of the other guys who appear there. Go here to check it out, and you can communicate with them through Twitter, as long as you use the hashtags #FLD and #LM24. Should be a good time.

That's all, folks! Grab a comfy couch, some tasty beverages and your favorite salty snacks, and get your sloth on! I know I am!