Forget Last Night
August 23, 2007
Rollins, ss; Iguchi, 2b; Burrell, lf; Howard, 1b; Rowand, cf; Dobbs, 3b; Werth, rf; Ruiz, c; Castro, p.
Last night is over. Four losses in the last five are over. Got to focus on today and then tomorrow. One day at a time.
A reader, admitting he was ranting, said nothing is more frustrating that losing guys to stupid injuries. He also responded that he is a firm believer that injuries can be prevented.
Taking the first point, I don’t know that any of the injuries this year have been stupid. Throwing a baseball is an unnatural physical act and that’s why so many pitchers get hurt. Hardly a pitcher goes through an entire career without having some sort of elbow or shoulder injury. If there was a “freak” injury, it happened to Jon Lieber, who was simply running to back up a play at home plate. He ruptured a tendon is in his right foot.
Prevention? The Phillies, and every other baseball team, have athletic trainers at every level of the organization. They also have strength and flexibility instructors. Players have access to more training facilities than ever.
But, it is a subject that will be reviewed by Pat Gillick, his staff and the medical staff. At some point at the end of the season, be it regular season or post-season, the Phillies will have an organization meeting involving all the instructional personnel, medical people and scouts. I’m sure it will be a topic heavily discussed.
To be fair to the reader, he also wrote that all the character in the world can’t make up for pitching. Yes, pitching does set the tone. Always has and always will.
Other teams are having pitching issues, too. The Phillies won’t see Chris Young on Sunday. The Padres right-hander went back to San Diego because of a back problem. The Braves put LHP Chuck James (#3 starter) on the DL. Their fifth starter is 0-4. The Mets staff has basically been healthy all season.
In 1979, the Phillies lost three starting pitchers on July 4: RH Larry Christenson (groin pull), LH Randy Lerch (fractured left wrist) and RH **** Ruthven (ailing right elbow).
In 1976, the Phillies used 11 pitchers the entire season, 10 up until September 1. That wasn’t normal. So isn’t 2007.
I remember asking Johnny Podres one time, “How come there weren’t that many injuries to pitchers during his career (1950s)?” He responded, “We drank more beer.”