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Tough night's work for Cla Meredith
2007-07-03 21:05
by Bob Timmermann

In a 4-4 game in San Diego, Padres manager Bud Black removed starter Greg Maddux in the top of the seventh with runners on second and third and one out and Miguel Cabrera due up. Meredith threw four intentional balls to Cabrera.

Black comes out again and takes out Meredith and replaces him with lefty Royce Ring to face the left-handed hitting Mike Jacobs. And Ring struck out Jacobs, but then threw a wild pitch with Josh Willingham up to let one run score, intentionally walked Willingham, then unintentionally walked Jeremy Hermida to force in another run.

Meredith was the third pitcher this season whose only batter faced in a game was an intentional walk. Jimmy Gobble of the Royals did so against the Cardinals on June 20 and Trever Miller did it for Houston against Milwaukee on April 20.

Recent pitchers who have just had an IBB and nothing else in a game recently. The list has more lefties than righties on it.


2007-07-03 21:24:56
1.   Jon Weisman
So even though there was no intended pinch-hitter on the horizon, Black really just brought in Meredith for the IW? Bizarre. What could the rationale have been?
2007-07-03 21:26:20
2.   Bob Timmermann
The folks at Ducksnorts are baffled.
2007-07-03 21:29:26
4.   Icaros
Hey Timmermann, I saw you edit that double post. No fair.
2007-07-03 21:30:24
5.   Bob Timmermann
No, you didn't.
2007-07-03 21:55:37
6.   Gagne55
1 the only thing I can think of is to take up more time to get Ring ready. Though in that case, they might as well bring in a starting pitcher, who wouldn't be used anyway, to throw four wide ones.
2007-07-03 22:17:38
7.   El Lay Dave
With careful adherence to the 70 minute rule, I now point out that the last link is incorrect.
2007-07-03 22:23:00
8.   El Lay Dave
It was really four intentional balls - bizarre. Why not just let Maddox do that and then yank him?
2007-07-03 22:24:16
9.   El Lay Dave
8 I meant to underline four, to indicate as opposed to just one, rather than pitch to Cabrera 3-0.
2007-07-03 22:27:46
10.   Bob Timmermann
The link has been fixed.
2007-07-03 22:50:00
11.   El Lay Dave
There are some odd ones on that list. Examples:

John Rocker IBBs a guy, throws seven pitches to the next batter, but commits the walk-off balk!

Mike Proly doing it AND pitching 2/3 (!) of an inning. IBB to load the bases, WP, blown double steal with BOTH runners erased to end the inning.

Great list.

2007-07-03 22:59:59
12.   GoBears
Only rationale I can think of is that Black really wanted Ring in the game, but Ring wasn't ready. Since throwing an IBB isn't taxing, he could pretty much ask anyone to come in to do that as a stall. I'm not sure why he'd waste a good reliever on the task, however. Why not ask a starter on an off day to take one for the team if that were really the reason?

As for why he didn't ask Maddux to issue the IBB, well maybe all those Cy Young's exempt one from such ignominy.

2007-07-03 23:33:57
13.   Bob Timmermann
Postgame comment in AP story:

"Bringing in Meredith was one way to allow Royce (Ring) enough time to get loose," Black said. I felt I hadn't given him enough time to get ready."

2007-07-04 00:56:50
14.   Eric Enders
So it actually made sense. Imagine that.
2007-07-04 01:00:08
15.   Bob Timmermann
Wouldn't it have made more sense to find out if Ring was already warmed up and just stalled some other way?
2007-07-04 01:17:36
16.   Eric Enders
Maybe they could have brought in a position player to give the intentional walk and thus not wasted one of their better pitchers.

Or a starting pitcher, even. I don't think it would have blown out Justin Germano's arm to have him throw four soft tosses to the catcher.

2007-07-05 11:00:00
17.   El Lay Dave
Perfect role for Brett Tomko.

"...thus not wasted one of their better pitchers."

Exactly. Seriously, Meredith was even well-rested; so, if that was what Black had to do, there's no excuse for using that guy to do it.

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