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McKeon goofs starting Redman
McKeon goofs starting Redman
By Charles Elmore, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 20, 2003
NEW YORK -- As good as Florida manager Jack McKeon and pitching coach Wayne Rosenthal have been, they goofed on the decision to start Mark Redman Sunday on three days' rest.
Marlins in the World Series
In a miserable 2 1/3 innings, Redman gave up five hits, four earned runs and as many walks as strikeouts (two). Yankees slugger Hideki Matsui didn't know the rule that you aren't supposed to swing on a 3-0 pitch in the first inning, and his three-run homer cleared the 408-foot sign in dead center. A hit batsman and a wild pitch just reinforced how tired and ineffective Redman really was.
Someone asked McKeon whether the home run demonstrated Matsui's skill.
"If you get the count 3-0 and I lay a fastball down the middle, I think you could be a good hitter, too," McKeon said. "You can't keep pitching from behind in the count. Redman's problem the last couple of games is he got behind. He got hurt."
But it's hard to argue there were no clues this might be coming. Redman came in winless in the 2003 post-season with a 5.17 ERA. This was the guy who gave up a home run to Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood, remember, not just Moises Alou. He's been hit hard the whole post-season, allowing nine earned runs in 15 2/3 innings before Sunday's start.
McKeon's sometimes quirky and intuitive pitching decisions have frequently paid off, helping restore one or another young pitcher's confidence. It worked in Game 1 with Brad Penny. But Sunday, Redman only got worse, and fast.
Redman said he could not blame the outing on the temperature, 48 degrees and dropping at game time.
"On the road, in the cold -- you could say a lot of things," Redman said. "I just fell behind in the count. You fall behind, you walk guys. You don't give yourself a chance to be successful."
Redman talked earlier about the importance of controlling his emotions, but he said that wasn't the problem Sunday.
"I don't think I was out there long enough to get emotional," Redman said.
The man who was probably the right starter came on in relief, Carl Pavano (2-0 post-season, 1.74 ERA coming into Sunday). Pavano shut down the Yanks in his brief appearance Sunday with two strikeouts, a walk, a hit, no runs in an inning's work, but by then the issue had been decided.
Matsui's home run was important for several reasons, not the least of which being it energized a Yankees team that has had trouble scoring. Manager Joe Torre's lips have been saying there's no reason to panic, but his hands have been rewriting the batting order nightly.
"We had been struggling for runs through that whole Boston series," Torre said. "To jump up there and score three runs helped our personality. It takes a lot of pressure off our pitchers to do everything perfectly."
It's a long Series. McKeon will have a chance to show he has not completely lost the knack of picking the right guy, and the right time.
Who pitches after Josh Beckett in Game 3? McKeon said he hasn't ruled out starting either Dontrelle Willis, who was brilliant in relief in Game 1, or Pavano. Certainly Willis' own confidence has returned as he has appeared from the bullpen, without the pressure of a starting assignment on a national stage.
At this moment, it is tempting to say Redman has started his last World Series game of 2003, but that doesn't mean he is done. After all, he went 14-9 this year with a 3.59 ERA.. He might be the middle reliever who saves a game in Florida. And if that happens, it's hard to say he would not become a candidate to start again under happier circumstances.
May the odds be ever in your favor.