Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Pitch and Moan | You'd think that playing a few seasons for Dallas Green and managing a few seasons in Philadelphia would give a guy some thick skin. Not Larry Bowa. The hypersensitive skipper apparently got all wiggy over media criticism of how he handles his pitchers -- what, he doesn't read blogs? -- and shot back with a sharply worded rebuttal yesterday. The Inquirer's Todd Zolecki and the Daily News's Marcus Hayes include Bowa's response in their respective notes columns today, and while Zolecki files a fairly straightforward account of the session, Hayes sticks to his guns:

Bowa's claim that "two or three of [the Phillies beat writers] are doing everything in your power but sticking a bleeping knife in my back" seems a bit overdone, especially in the light that two veteran relievers last season faded after particularly tough stretches.

Turk Wendell, who missed 2002 with elbow tendinitis, began 2003 on the disabled list, and the Phillies were very careful with him until August. He then complained of overuse after pitching three games straight Aug. 13-15. He gave up 11 runs in his next 4 1/3 innings. His ERA before Aug. 15 was 1.93; afterward, 9.24.

Also, Terry Adams pitched eight times between Aug. 14 and 23. At the end of those games, his ERA was 2.30. He made only two more appearances. He first was sidelined by a strained oblique. Then he was lost for the season with loose bodies in his elbow.

Bowa vociferously pointed to his team's unremarkable usage of relievers overall, but the greater point to be addressed was not overall bullpen innings; rather, it was using certain relievers in certain situations.

Geez, what's Bowa going to do when he finds out some of us aren't so crazy about his lineups, either?


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