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Indians Indians Archive The B-List: 7-31
Written by Steve Buffum

Steve Buffum
If the 17 highlights of it on Sportscenter wasn't enough for you, Buff is here with more analysis of Fausto's second straight meltdown, and Big Papi's majestic walk off to dead center in the bottom of the ninth. In today's B-List, Buff also hits on Paul Byrd, Andy Marte's slow start, and more of his unique analysis of last nights loss to the Chowds.
I hate being featured in other teams' highlights.
1) Skip, that horse looks awfully tall
After Friday's game, I lobbied for Fausto Carmona to have been given (oy, what verb tense is that?  Past plu-future imperfect degenerate?) the opportunity to close out the game, arguing that we needed to see if he was An Answer (there is rarely The Answer, and if there is, you're in trouble) at Closer.  My argument at the time was that the situation was tailor-made, in that it was at home, against a weak-hitting team, starting an inning with no one on, following a dissimilar pitcher, but close enough to actually learn something.  I stand by this, because one of the dimensions of Decision Space is time: evaluating a decision should be done in the context of the information available and not with respect to what happens later.
Carmona did get into a tie game later that series, and he was truly atrocious, but hey.  It doesn't change my argument, and besides, this is not a team for which one win is important in the standings.
Instead Fausto Carmona's first Save Opportunity comes in Boston ... following two similar pitchers ... into the teeth of one of the best offenses in major league baseball.  Kudos for setting up a challenge, but I claim that a save Friday would have done more to prepare Carmona; heck, even a blower would have taught us something.  Now all we've learned is that Fausto Carmona can give up a home run to David Ortiz, making him roughly one of nine thousand pitchers to do so.  Giving up a hit to Alex Cora is bad enough, but walking Youkilis after 1-2 is truly execrable.
Look, here's my problem with Carmona: the obvious thing that a closer must do is get people out.  However, generally speaking, this boils down to a couple key factors: the two most valuable elements of this are missing bats and throwing strikes.  This isn't terribly different from any other successful pitcher, but it becomes magnified for the closer who has no time to "make up" any mistakes.  Wickman didn't strike out a lot of guys, but he normally threw a lot of strikes.  Bobby Jenks threw with the accuracy of a shuttlecock last season, but he struck out a million guys.  You have to do one or the other, and doing both is really good.

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