The Mystifying Jeff Locke


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.

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:

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.