Cooper's decision to yank Ortiz made sense
Astros starting pitcher Russ Ortiz was furious following Thursday’s game, a game in which he was pulled after three innings in the win over Washington. Ortiz was mad at manager Cecil Cooper for taking him out so soon and expressed frustrations at not being able to work out of trouble.
I can certainly understand Ortiz’s frustrations and can’t speak to the lack of communication Ortiz says he’s had with the manager, but I can see Cooper’s side of Thursday’s decision a little clearer. The Astros had just gotten a complete game a day earlier from Wandy Rodriguez and have red-hot ace Roy Oswalt pitching Friday, so the bullpen was rested.
Ortiz was bordering on disaster all game, giving up three hits and two runs in the first inning and two hits, one walk and two runs in the third. He threw 68 pitches, but nothing really came easy. Besides, the bullpen picked him up and threw six scoreless innings.
Perhaps Ortiz, who was pitched pretty well in the rotation this year, is trying to get traded, but he certainly wasn’t shy with the media following the game.
“It became apparent to me from the very beginning of the season that I wasn’t going to be given much of a chance or room for error, and today is another example of that,” said Ortiz, who is 3-4 with 4.44 ERA in 20 games this year (10 starts).
Cooper might have been justified in taking Ortiz out of the game, but it doesn’t speak well for the manager when players are openly ripping his decisions to the media.