Two out of three ain’t bad, especially against the 2011 World Series Champions…

I recently came across a Philadelphia fan-based blog titled Team to Beat . Nothing special about their site, but then again, here I am, one of 864,475 sports’ bloggers linked-in to the internet featuring nothing original myself all the while calling out a peer. Weak, I know.

(It is actually quality site. Sitting in eight inches of thundersnow in the middle of April and following 4-3 late game loss in what should have been a sweep, I’m just bitter.)

Anyways, TTB previewed the Brewers-Phillies-Randy Wolf-Doc Halladay matchup prior to Tuesday night. As most know, Wolf used to pitch for the fightin’ Phils. He compiled a 69-60 record with a 4.21 ERA in 8 seasons before taking his talents to several other squads.

Despite injury issues in the past and a subpar 2010, TTB also noted Wolf’s capability of occasionally competing at the Major League level. In a 9-0 Milwaukee route over Philadelphia on Tuesday, Randall proved them correct…for a night. Finally, Team to Beat (the site, not the team) asked a significant question at the very end of their post:

“So which Wolf will we see tonight: a Phillie killer or the one-legged mule in an a**-kicking contest.”

After six innings of no run, two-hit, five-strikeout baseball, the answer to the question is simple, right? Not so much.

“Wolf pitched a good game [ incredibly lucky tonight] ,”  Manuel said

I agree with Charlie.

Heading into Tuesday’s game, Wolf was 1-2 with a 4.32 ERA, and the Phillies followed by going 0-6 with runners in scoring position. I’m far from equipped to be breaking down statistics, so I’ll stop there. My amateur point is this, I fear TTB’s assessment of Wolf as possibly a “one-legged mule” who has a tendency to get his a– kicked may in fact be correct. There is no doubt those six innings against Philadelphia featured an excellent array of change-of-pace and black-painting goodness. Great game, great night, series victory.

I still think he’s Suppan 2.0, but that’s just me.

Am I way off base here? Is there something I am missing when it comes to Wolf’s “stuff?” Will he continue to pitch well, or will Randy revert to the 4.50+ ERA form he showed most of last season, making it 4-5 innings before getting shellacked? Despite Manny Parra’s fingers being crossed for the latter, cheers to hopefully being incorrect and the $29.75 million ($9.5 in 2011) paying off.


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  • BrewTownBoozer

    It is good to have you back Rich. However, I could not disagree more about Randy Wolf being Suppan 2.0. I will explain why and apologize in advance for not using more advanced stats than just ERA due to time constraints.

    After a July 21st start last season in which the Pirates torched Wolf for 12 runs, he was very, very solid.

    In roughly 87 innings after that start he allowed only 6 homer runs and had roughly a 2.79 ERA. Wolf was solid down the stretch last season and had a better half season that Suppan EVER had with Milwaukee. Wolf also had a solid April.

    Finally, you have to remember that Wolf gave up 20 runs in 2 starts. Take out those two starts and his numbers look much better.

    Wolf lives and dies with fastball control. If he gets his fastball up in the zone, bad things happen.

    Once again, it is good to have you back.

  • BigSnakeMan

    The prodigal son returns!

    864,475? Is that documented? ;)

  • Brian

    I have even less numbers than Boozer (none) to use as arguing leverage, but being the PD Milwaukee Bucks guy, I liked comparing Suppan to former Buck Dan Gadzuric. Both really nice guys, fairly charitable off the field (court), both massively-overpaid athletes without the talent to match. Still, very nice guys.

    So I don’t have much else to argue about Wolf except that I wouldn’t put him in the same category as the two above. His second half performance last year at least helped him honestly earn most his contract.

  • Rich Ward

    Well good, I’m glad to be in the minority and happy to (hopefully) be wrong in this instance. To be perfectly honest, I based that post more off of the “eye ball” test than advanced statistics (obviously).

    I apologize for the lack of depth, but I wrote it while in my Spanish lab…Cut me some slack, eh! Jk. We were supposed to be working on an essay, but three hours of typing in espanol? Ay, no mas!

    Boozer, thanks for the reassurance. Good stuff. Let’s hope you’re right. Maybe I’m just looking too hard at the numbers, and a 4.00+ era pitcher, which he’s been for his career, is simply good enough and as much as the Brewers expect from him.

    I believe 864,475 may actually be a bit low…

    I still feel bad for ragging on Suppan so much, especially because he seems like a good guy. But it was him or those around me, so I settled on the overpaid BP pitcher. I like the Dan Gadzuric comparison.