Sunday, April 29, 2012

Senor Smoke

  We ditched satellite tv about 16 months ago, so our viewing options are rather slim. However, as I was lying around yesterday afternoon, I ran across an over-the-air Spanish television channel that was televising a game from the Mexican Baseball League. On the mound was a pitcher who was far from being slim-yes, he was a very stout man. In fact, he reminded me of former Major League pitcher Juan Berenguer. It got me thinking: what if Berenguer hadn't got injured while wrestling with his kids back in 1991. Senor Smoke had converted 17 of 18 saves prior to his season ending injury, while sporting a WHIP of 0.979 over 64.1 innings. After his injury, the Braves briefly used rookie Mark Wohlers in the closer's role before trading for Alejandro Pena on August 28th. Pena went on to save 11 games in the last month of the regular season with an even more impressive 0.724 WHIP. Come playoff time, Alejandro earned three saves and allowed no runs (earned or unearned) in the LCS against Pittsburgh. Pena wasn't as effective during the World Series that year, as he blew a save in game 3 of the World Series (which Atlanta still won) and then took the loss in the historical game 7 in which Smoltz and Morris battled like two warriors. Which takes me back to my original question. If Berenguer hadn't been injured, would he have continued to pitch well enough to lead the Braves to the NL pennant? If and so, would things have turned out differently in that Game 7-had he been the reliever instead of Pena? We will never know.

No comments:

Post a Comment