Monday, April 25, 2005


Tigers 6, Twins 4

The definition of a slow starter:

Dating back to the beginning of the 2002 season, Brad Radke in March/April has been 7-10 with a 5.85 ERA. In all other months since then, he's 28-16 with a 3.72 ERA.

His track record indicates that he should turn the corner in May and start pitching like a man who deserves his accolades as the leader of the rotation and staff ace for life, but meanwhile it's sho 'nuff frickin annoying to see him consistently putting his team in a hole every time he starts a game this month.

The #1 pitcher in the rotation is simply failing at his role as a stopper, as someone who sets a strong tone for his team; and maybe his offense could relax and score some more runs for him if they weren't pressing so hard to make up for the early deficit he's creating every time out. Through 5 starts this season, opponents have put up 10 runs in the 1st inning against Radke; the one time he escaped the 1st with a clean slate, it was only thanks to some great outfield defense by Hunter and Jones in last Tuesday's game against Chicago.

Maybe Radke's storied control has been a liability of late. If all batters know that he's going to be offering plenty of pitches over the plate, why shouldn't they get comfortable and wait for something that looks good to drive? Couldn't it help to mix in some calculated wildness now and then?

Again, his track record indicates that he should find his groove shortly after May Day, and perhaps we can take comfort in that thought. On the other hand, if our #1 pitcher isn't going to show up until the second month of the season, maybe it's only right that he gave the Twins a "discount" in agreeing to stay with the club last winter. This week I doubt anyone in Boston regrets missing out on Radke and settling for Matt Clement instead. If this goes on much longer, when is it fair to wonder whether Radke is just another athlete who stepped up in his contract year but then got complacent after signing a new deal?

Just pull yourself together, mon. Offering pallid excuses for today's performance, such as, "I didn't pick up a ball the last two days, and that didn't help matters. It was kind of tough all game," should be beneath you.


At 4/26/2005 12:29 AM, Blogger Jonzard said...

Well, hitters always try to get at Brad in early innings because they know once he starts going and getting his location perfect, they are done for. It just takes him and inning or two to locate like he wants.

At least with Radke you know what you are getting from him after the first inning.

At 4/26/2005 8:35 AM, Anonymous JustBeth said...

Bradke gets the bad end of the deal too often, I think. He had a complete game giving up three runs--and got a loss. At some point the lack of run support has to frustrate him.

On the other hand, I've heard other Twins comment that they have bad Aprils. By mid-May I expect to see vast improvement or I shall be a tad upset with their excuses. I'll give them April, but no more.


Post a Comment

<< Home