The Mystifying Jeff Locke


JeffLocke

Jeff Locke was named to the 2013 All-Star Team.  However, there’s a really good chance he won’t make any postseason teams despite the General Manager recently stating that Locke had done more than enough to make it.

Things have changed.  Locke was painful to watch yesterday.  The groundball outs were familiar, as were the walks, and another crushing homer hit into the Left Field Loonies party HQ.

All the way through July, the southpaw lived off his fastball, which generated a boatload of get-out-of-trouble groundball outs.

You remember, those big sighs of relief as Locke rolled through lineup after lineup.  Those big sighs as you smiled and whistled toward the fridge to grab another cold one…

In a weird way, it sorta reminds us of how Gerritt Cole started off his rookie season.  But Locke doesn’t have the ability to crank it up in the high nineties.  The lefty lived on the edges and now has died on those same edges.

Borderline calls have inflated pitch counts, led to more walks, more groundballs that find holes, more runs, more pain late in the baseball season, which is nothing new.  Jeff Locke has always been awful late in the season.

In August we started to feel it. On August 22, in fact.

But we chose to whistle right past the numbers.  Pay no attention to the xFIP, what the hell is that, anyway?  Look at the ERA saberyinzers!

Before yesterday’s start the whistlers mentioned– “Look at the success he had against the Reds this year!”  Yeah, when was that?  It wasn’t late in the year, when Locke has always struggled.  Months ago is… months ago.

After yesterday’s outing, we can’t ignore it any longer. David Manel couldn’t ignore it either, and this says it much better than we did, one month ago to the day. Dmanuel Earlier this year, we joked about Locke flirting with danger.

 

It’s not funny any longer.  The walks aren’t diminishing, they’re growing uglier.  Like the oh-so-cute hatchetfish who, as the year moves along, turns into a haunting shadow of its former self:

Hatchetfish

LockeBB9

It’s really hard to even remember if this has ever happened, but Locke is an All-Star that now should get called into the office to be given some bad news.

Maybe we all should have seen it coming?  Perhaps it’s the body type, the lack of borderline calls, or maybe it was just time for all the good luck to turn bad?  It sucks that the timing of it was so damned awful, but look –  a hatchet fish is always going to be a hatchet fish.

 

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Tj Streib

    Now that the 20-year drought is over, it’s time to look back at the players who gave us those 20 years of misery. Here is my….

    All-SUCKO Bucco team – 1993-2012:

    MGR – John “Stone Face” Russell – nuff said
    1B – Adam La(cock)Roche – forgot how to hit…. until he left
    2B – Pat (s)Meares – that inexplicable premature contract extension (Dishonorable mention: Aki Iwamura… or was it Sucki Evenmore-a)
    SS – Clint Barmas(s) – yes the glove is OK, except when he thinks he’s playing volleyball instead. The bat just totally sucks
    3B – Andy La(cock)Roche – one, because he’s a La(cock)Roche, two, because his arrival shoved Jose Bautista & his future 50+ HR seasons out the door. Hardly worth it
    OF – Derek “Operation Shutdown” Bell – Question: How do you shutdown when you were never even on?
    OF – Raul “Retired(?)” Mondesi – “retired” & got his release… only to “change his mind” a week later when the Angels called
    OF – Chad Hermansen – former #1 pick who was “the real deal”. The only thing real about that is that he wasn’t
    C – Rod Barajas – Only 6 runners caught stealing, two of those were actually pickoffs by the pitchers, another shown to be safe by replay
    SP – John VanBenschoten – Finally, the Pirates draft the big bat they needed…. only to mistake him for a pitcher
    SP – Matt Morris – still the highest paid Pirate ever. Why?
    RP – Stan B(low)elinda – his blown save in Game 7 of the ’92 playoffs started all this crap!