Purgatory Online

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Last night, after Jarrod Washburn gave up a game-winning two-run homer to Frank Thomas in the bottom of the ninth, I said to myself "there's the first concrete example of something Scioscia's done that he wouldn't do during a pennant race. He wants to see Washburn pitch himself out of a jam in the late innings, and he wants Washburn to know that Scioscia trusts him to make the right decision about whether to walk a guy or pitch to him in that situation." What I didn't know until just now is that Washburn was apparently pitching hurt, so much so that he was having his back and hip realigned between innings.

That's crazy. I know, the guy had a no-hitter into the seventh. And he looked pretty good. And he only threw 101 pitches in those nine innings. But considering the number of guys out with injuries these days, and how pitchers especially tend to develop nagging injuries, and further considering the state of the starting rotation, if I were Mike Scioscia I'd be awfully cautious about extending an injured starter any further than necessary. With a judicious off-season move or two, this team will be right in the thick of things in 2004, but let's not complicate things by breaking the guy at the top of the rotation.

One of those judicious off-season moves will likely be signing Garret Anderson to an extension. For the others, I guess we'll just have to wait and see, but I sure hope Stoneman is looking at some guys who can hit the ball. Either that or figuring out how they can play Detroit about 100 times next year.