Monday, August 11, 2008

Kapler hits first career walk-off homer

Gabe Kapler was having a pretty sad day at the plate on Sunday. His big 0-6 was a far cry from the output the Brewers are used to from the 3 hole where Braun usually plays.

Of course, the game winning, 13th inning, walk-off home run made up for some of that.

Earlier in the week Mike Rivera finally spoke up about how awful it's been being the backup catcher who's played just 11 games this season.


"It's draining for me, more mentally than physically, wondering if I'm going to play," said Rivera, who is batting .314 with one homer and 11 RBI in 51 at-bats. "That's the challenging part.

"Every day game, I try to think I'm going to be in there. I get myself ready to play. I've never been through anything like this. You want to contribute and feel like you're part of the team."

Of course, he finally got to play on Sunday and proved exactly why he has a right to complain. In five plate appearances he walked three times and had 2 hits, including the game-tying 3 RBI double in the 8th.


Michael James said...

I realize that Ned loves Jason Kendall, and that every year, every manager says that he would love a great defensive catcher (and that any offense is a bonus).


Kendall is offensively cold as ice and plays constantly. Could he already have worn down from constantly playing? And it is clear that Ned thinks Mike Rivera is an inferior catcher - I have no problem with that. But Rivera never pinch hits, either. Having your second catcher PH is tough when there is no third catcher, but it really is wrong when a player, regardless of position, that gets 12 starts in the first 105 games.

I hope that Rivera can get at least one start per week through the end of the season (and some regular PH duty for Kendall late in the game in a clutch situation).

Nicole said...

I think there are 2 issues at play here:

1. The second year of Kendall's contract is dependant upon how many games he plays. I don't have the numbers at hand and I'm at work, so I can't really take the time to look it up, but I do know that the option is picked up once he hits a certain number of starts.

2. Ned likes playing the numbers. And the numbers say that no other catcher has started more games over the past 7 years than Kendall. Ned's not going to mess with that. Add to it Kendall's hitting and number of pick off numbers from the season, and Ned will justify Kendall's usage til the cows come home.

The thing is, Manny seems extremely comfortable with Rivera (they came through the system together). It would make sense for Rivera to be Manny's "personal" catcher. In addition, Kendall's not a young man and we're talking post-season, so it just makes sense for Kendall's health that he starts getting more rest.