BOBBY PARNELL AND NICK EVANS A STUDY IN CONTRASTING PLAYERS

What’s worse than watching a baseball game in September that’s meaningless? How about watching a meaningless baseball game in September being played in “Your Name Here” Stadium in South Florida in front of dozens of fans with an hour plus rain delay? Then when the game resumes your team in this meaningless contest has the lead and the pitcher who is thought to be the closer of the future comes in and blows the save for the fourth time in nine chances, but his ass is saved by a player who you couldn’t give away at least three times this season getting the game winning hit?

So is the tale of Bobby Parnell and Nick Evans. Parnell has been given the opportunity to show he should be the closer for the Mets from now until whenever but he has shown that he does not have the qualities needed to be effective at that position. Parnell has a flamethrower for a right arm but has a ton of trouble locating pitches for strikes. He also has this nasty habit of giving up a hit and then falls apart by falling behind in the count to the next batter who either walks or gets a nice juicy fastball or a flat slider to mash at. It’s not just the pitches that are ineffective; it seems Parnell loses some nerve and confidence when he’s behind the 8 ball.  Small fires become forest fires for him on the mound.

It looks as though the manager who has shown a lot of faith in him is starting to doubt if Parnell can close out games:

“Well, we’re going to talk to Bobby tomorrow,” Collins said. “I mean, there’s a couple things (pitching coach) Dan (Warthen) had talked about with him, a couple of little pitch-location stuff that he’s just got to be able to make. He’s got to make some pitches.

“He’s got a great arm and he’s got really great stuff. But the bases on balls hurt him. Getting behind in the count hurts him. You saw the first hitter, he went right at him with good fastballs, got ahead of him in the count, and throws him a slider and it’s a mismatch. But you’ve got to be able to get ahead.

It has got to be deflating  to the team to have Parnell blow as many saves as he has and Collins made be sensing some frustration in the clubhouse so why not take Parnell out of this roll and let him work on getting his mind as well as his pitches back to where he can be effective. There is too much talent in that right arm to give up on Parnell, but Terry Collins wants to end this season on a winning note as well as evaluating players who have a future with the Mets and who doesn’t.  Using a committee of Manny Acosta, Jason Isringhausen  and the neophyte Josh Stinson looks to be the way to go for these final weeks of the season.

As for Nick Evans, how can you not root for him? He’s been tossed on the scrap heap time and again but never gets discouraged and when he gets opportunities, as he is now playing 1st base on a nightly basis, he is producing with his bat and his glove. From trolling around the team you can tell the players hold Evans in high regard as they know how hard he works to stay in the big leagues and if he can continue to produce like he has, and impress the manager like he has, he will have a spot on the 2012 Mets 25 man roster.

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BLOOMBERG SPORTS HAS YOUR NUMBERS

I had the pleasure last night to attend a presentation at Bloomberg headquarters  by Bloomberg Sports,  updating those of us in attendance, on the new features that have been added to their baseball analytical application and the unveiling of their Fantasy Football application. I came away quite impressed with both products.

Bloomberg Sports is really making a name for itself when it comes to statistical applications dealing with baseball and the football program, which is in pre-production, should be just as compelling to fantasy sports players, fans and media types alike.  

The first presentation of the evening was a detailed look at the analytical program that Bloomberg Sports has made available to all 30 MLB teams. Part of the presentation dealt with the batter/pitcher match up, where every pitch a pitcher has thrown to that batter is broken down to pitch type, pitch location, velocity, and the break of each pitch. There are pie charts that record what pitch type the pitcher has thrown in every conceivable count.   As an added bonus, you can click on each individual at bat in the batter/pitcher confrontation and see video of the at bat. The pitcher/batter used in last night’s demo was a Stephen Strasburg/Lastings Milledge matchup where ahead in the count to LMillz, Strasburg broke off a hellacious curve ball that Milledge’s initial reaction was the pitch was coming up and in or him and as he was bailing, the ball broke right over home plate for strike three. STUNNING!!!!!

For fans, Bloomberg uses the technology to help you win your fantasy league, in fact when you subscribe to the Bloomberg Sports application, you can sync your team into the app and have Bloomberg’s extensive stats and analysis show you the pluses and minuses of your team.

The Fantasy Football package will work the same but right now if you play Fantasy Football on NFL.com, the Bloomberg stat package will be included in the price of the game. If you wish to purchase the app separately (if you play on Yahoo or ESPN) it will cost you a very reasonable $7.95.

Both application are well worth it for fantasy players and non-fantasy players alike.

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