Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Moral of the Story: Always Listen to the Wife

The wife proclaimed that Dan "Doodie" Kolb was useless weeks ago. I allowed myself to be deceived by a couple strong performances against the Cardinals, but the bottom line right now is that he's terrible. He's allowing about two runners per inning, his ERA is over six, and he's converted 75% of his saves. Even when he converts a save, he looks shaky because he puts runners on and has to pitch out of trouble. With Reitsma and Sosa pitching well, Kolb is probably one more meltdown from being a set-up man. A friend suggested today that this might destroy his confidence, but my response is the same as my response to people who question pulling a quarterback when he's playing poorly: if a player can't handle the pressure of being demoted for legitimate reasons, then he shouldn't be in the position in the first place. Kolb should do a little better with the pressure off and I'd much rather have a reliable 7th inning guy than a shaky closer.

The good news from yesterday is that Ryan Langerhans continued his torrid play. While our closer situation looks bad, our outfield situation looks better and better. Langerhans is second on the team in homers and second among the regulars in OPS. Admittedly, we are dealing with a small sample size that has been affected greatly by Langerhans' hot streak in the past four games, but the signs are very encouraging. The question is whether pitchers will figure out how to pitch him and then whether he'll adjust. All four of his homers over the past four games have been on pitches in the low and away quarter of the strike zone, so he probably won't see anything there for the near future.

I'm a smidge worried about the Braves losing momentum and playing poorly in LA this weekend, but one of the hallmarks of Cox's teams has been their ability to bounce back from emotional losses.

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