“If everybody doesn't write negative things about me, this will probably feel even better” — Kaz Ishii
Sorry, Ish. While everyone in the Kingdom of the Blue and Orange is extremely happy to see that “W” next to your name this morning, here comes some writing of negative things. Though you seem to have mostly gotten your wish: Many of the New York papers acted like you were the author of a masterpiece, when I saw a whole lot of errant brushstrokes on the canvas.
I mean, my goodness. Rick Peterson was out on the mound after just six pitches in the 1st. Then again in the 3rd. And the 5th. And for good reason: Five walks in six innings. Of 97 pitches, 49 were strikes and 48 were balls. In the first, Ishii sandwiched walks around a crucial double play — that came on a 2-1 pitch. (Way to work a count, Mark Loretta!) In the third, Loretta was once again in a giving mood, somehow managing to bunt into a double play with two on and none out. (And Ishii then promptly walked Brian Giles.) In the fifth, Eric Young (who'd walked on four pitches) ended the inning by getting caught stealing on a 2-0 pitch. (On the other hand, it was poor Loretta at the plate again.) And in the sixth, with one out and two on (one via a leadoff walk), Xavier Nady drove a 3-2 pitch to deep left — where Floyd made a terrific running catch.
Six innings, no runs — but absolutely everything went right for Ishii. If Loretta hadn't had the day from Hell, think about what the score might have been when Nady came to the plate. I think in a lot of parallel universes, Nady's drive goes over Floyd's head to make it Padres 6, Mets 5 — assuming Ishii's even still around.
That didn't happen, and of course I'm glad. Heck, I hope that W calms Ishii down and he presents us with a very interesting problem once Trachsel comes back — in the same way that the good Victor Zambrano seems to have conquered the bad Victor Zambrano and started trusting his excellent stuff. (Now let's get the poor man some runs.) But let's not fool ourselves that Ishii had a good outing — he danced through a thunderstorm and somehow came out dry. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, but a wise man doesn't count on it twice.
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