Sunday, April 8, 2007

No, I'm not going to use a stupid Riske/risk pun here

Normally I'd focus on the positive, and there's plenty of that -- David DeJesus's usual solid work from the leadoff spot, Ryan Shealy's first hit of the season, Brandon Duckworth's superb outing -- but instead I'm going to start with a simple opinion:

David Riske should not be closing games.

I know he's getting paid No. 1-setup-man-type money, but no one who throws 88 mph should be working the late innings, especially if he can't strike anyone out. Or when there's someone better (more on this in the next paragraph). Watching Riske try to preserve a two-run lead is like watching a first-year dental school student performing root canal: I'd rather not.
Duckworth, who threw a week's worth of good two-seamers and decent off-speed pitches, turned in a four-hit, no-run gem through six and a third. Jimmy Gobble came in to retire Sean Casey, then Joakim Soria, who should be the closer -- and not just because he threw the third perfect game in Mexican Pacific League history last season -- retired the next four. He polished off the Tigers in the eighth by rearing back and throwing a 91-mph fastball by Gary Sheffield.

Riske, on the other hand, came in and immediately gave up a lead-off double. After losing Carlos Guillen on a 3-2 breaking ball (if you could call that a breaking ball), he gave up a no-doubt home run to Ivan "No-Longer-Pudge-Cause-I-Quit-Steroids" Rodriguez. The rubber match went to the Tigers after Todd Jones came in and shut down the Royals in the bottom half of the inning, leaving us with this aggravating line score:

DET 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
KCR 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

...But I suppose it's all a learning process, so let's chalk this up to a lesson learned.

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