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So what the heck happened last night?

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According to this, the sequence of events as I can figure them:

  1. Maddux starts to lose his junk and the Marlins start to tag him with a hit and a homer.

  2. Black gets Snacks up and going.

  3. Maddux, still pitching to contact apparently, manages to give up a single and a double in the next three pitches leaving runners on 2nd and 3rd. Snacks is not ready in the bully.

  4. Not wanting to subject his veteran to any more ("I was [expletive] ticked," Maddux said) and seeing that Snacks still isn't ready, Buddy needs an IBB. He therefore brings in a cold Claw and removes the Mad Dog.

  5. The time it takes for Cold Claw to come in and pitch 4 pitches is enough time for Snacks to be ready.

  6. Snacks comes in and is wild before getting out.
But the story doesn't jibe. Video shows that it was the Claw getting ready in the bully and not Snacks. The Claw throws almost 6 times as many ground balls as he does fly balls, but Snacks is right behind him on that board throwing 4 times as many. Having lefty Snacks throw to Jacobs makes sense, but why bring in the Claw to throw the IBB?

Craig over at FishStripes has a theory:
There is a theory that says it's not good to bring a pitcher in from the bullpen and ask him to immediately IBB a hitter. Some times he has trouble throwing strikes after he does.

The normal thing to do is have the starter walk the batter right before he leaves. Maybe since Maddux didn't walk anyone all night, they weren't sure he could do it.
My first theory is that Black had a brain fart and didn't expect Maddux to unravel so quickly. I suspect that even though he realized that Uggla had just hit a double, he didn't actually realize it. Sort of like when it's obvious that something's in front of you, but the implications of it haven't been made clear. Like, you see an elephant in the room. That takes some time to process.

I think that first theory is part of it, but I mix in my second theory as well... Don't forget that the Claw has not been automatic this year. Opponents have an On Base Percentage of .306 on the Claw this year. Compare that to the OBP of .172 against Royce. We might still have it in our heads that the Claw is our mid-game "holder", but Black obviously has different ideas. Some might say that the Claw has more experience than Snacks. The Claw is 24. Snacks is 26. It's not like either one is a grizzled veteran, but Snacks has been pitching for more seasons. When the Claw first started warming up, it wasn't an emergency. By the time a new pitcher was needed, it was an emergency. Snacks has been Buddy's guy and Buddy wanted to get there and not risk the Claw giving up a bunch more runs.

Did it work out? Obviously not. Should Bud Black be fired for it? I mean, I guess so. Why not. Before he goes, I think we should give him credit that he hasn't actually been completely incompetent and even though last night was indefensible to some, there was something of a logic behind it.

In any case, I apologize for blowing up at people last night. It's not like I didn't think the situation was ridiculous at the time. It's just that I like to see how things play out and the reasoning behind them before starting the engine on the bus and throwing people under it. The thing that tweaks me is seeing something ridiculous and then having somebody suggest something that's equally or more ridiculous as the first thing, but disguised as something "sensible".

For example: "Well, let's just drive through it," is not the most sensible response to, "I can't believe somebody spilled nuclear waste in the middle of the road on our way to the hospital."

So again... Sorry about last night. Those losses hurt when it lets the Dodgers back into first for a day, but in the end, stupid losses still only count as one loss and there's plenty of baseball to be played.

GO PADRES!