Bob Howry: Are We Still Going With the Whole "Slow Starter" Thing?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bob Howry: Are We Still Going With the Whole "Slow Starter" Thing?

. Friday, August 15, 2008

The same pose that his Starting Lineup action figure strikes

Last night, Steve came over to watch the last game in the series that always calls back fond college memories of all the d-bag Braves fans in the South. Tacos, beer, and the Braves putting their batting practice pitcher out for the start (wait that was who? Poor bastard ...) made for a relaxing summer evening enjoying the team.

"If only I knew what to do with this"

And then Bob Howry came to pitch the 7th.

I know that occasionally we deal in exaggerations and hyperbole on this fair site, so let me briefly shake off the cloak of wild rhetoric. I'm not going to say something like "I hate Bob Howry," or "I want to eat his babies," or "If he gives up one more 3-run home run, I will make a change-purse out of his taint skin."

What I am going to say is that no matter the lead, I begin feeling ill when he lopes off of the bullpen mound and starts lobbing little league fastballs at the plate. Forget worrying about giving up hits, you've got to bite your nails and hope he doesn't let a 7-run lead turn into a 2-run lead and a momentum swing. His laughable late-inning pitching provides a bigger motivation boost to demoralized opponents than all the Tony Robbins tapes in the world. Last night, Ted Lilly survived another up and down outing by the dual virtues of blind-ass luck and phenomenal run support. Bobby H was handed the ball with an 11-4 lead in the 7th. He got the first man to strike out, then proceeded to raise more blood pressures across the Chicagoland area than all the cheese fries Portillo's sells in a week. The song went: single, single, 3-run homer, double. suddenly 11-4 is 11-7, and the Braves think they're back in it. He manages to get out of the inning, and for once in his miserable year in the bullpen, heard a ton of applause upon skulking off the mound. Those were the Atlanta fans, Bobby.

A dark day for the Cubs organization

What kills me is the fact that he continues to get innings and possibly-insane defenders on the local talk radio stations. While I know that sports talk radio isn't exactly a pantheon of intellectual achievement, it's not just unemployed Mike from Palatine or possibly retarded Zeke from Itasca, it's guys like David Kaplan on WGN and most of the crew on ESPN 1000. No amount of artery-shattering home run bombs can convince some of these guys that Bob Howry is to Cubs relievers what O-Town was to music. "This guy is a notorious slow starter," they would say, "you just gotta get him the innings - he's one of the best right-handed relievers in baseball." Well, I think we can see that this particular excuse has nearly worn out its welcome. How slowly can you start and still contribute to a contending team? Maybe if we went to March, Big Bobby would finally force that ERA below 5. But it doesn't, and I'm almost as sick of the excuses as I am of watching him pitch. How is it that Scott Eyre pissed off Lou enough that he got showed the door, but this $4 million hit parade keeps getting to go out and put a little excitement into games we're walking away with? After last night's 4 hit, 3 run inning, Mr. Slow Starter is lugging around an ERA of 5.53. That's not good enough for (knock on wood) October. Hell, it's not good enough for now. I've been sitting on this post for a long time, because he's frustrated the hell out of me all season.

Geo Soto congratulates Howry on joining the Pen15 Club

But I still hope he pulls his head out of his ass - I'd much rather be wrong than earn my righteous fury while I watch a Cub-less World Series. Prove me wrong, Bobby. Bring it back down to '04-'05 level (sub-3 ERA) and bitchslap me for doubting you. If you play a role in helping our Cubbies take the title for the first time in a century, I'll print out this post and eat it with hot sauce. Just stop having outings like this last one - I recently got a new television, and I'd hate to put an Old Style bottle through it. Come on Bobby, do it for the children.

"Why cant oo frow the bawl, mistoo Howry? You make my heart huwt."


Jen said...


Ted's leading the league in home runs given up...but Bob's gotta be closing in on him, right?