Octavio Unhittable? Dotel!


It is tough, operating within Tony LaRussa’s sphere of influence. TLR is, for better or worse, a legend in the game. His record speaks for itself even if it fails the mention the long list of talent that pushed him to those heights.

Lost in the shuffle of Sunday night’s micromanagement master class by the King of Lawyer Ball is another great performance by Octavio Dotel. Dotel, seemingly thrown into the Colby Rasmus deal as an afterthought, performed impeccably down the stretch as the Cards lunged for the playoff finish line.

Another night, another trip to the hill…another positive outing. I’m as shocked as you are.

As a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Dotel pitched well enough when used correctly. At this point of his career, the low-slot and lack of a real outpitch makes him incredibly vulnerable to left-handed hitters. It didn’t take long for manager John Farrell to learn that this particular toy only plays well with some of the kids.

Shipped to the Cards, LaRussa and his braintrust knew the book on Dotel. In the month of September, he faced more than twice as many righties as lefties. Dotel rewarded the Cards for their careful deployment of the ROOGY, posting a 16/2 strikeout to walk ratio and surrendering just six runs on seven hits. Give his game log a gander, which starts from the beginning of the Cards’ improbable run to the Wild Card.

Rk Date Opp IP H R BB SO HR BF StS GB WPA Entered Exited
48 Aug 23 LAD 1.0 1 0 0 1 0 4 1 2 0.000 8t — 0 out d11 8t 3 out d11
49 Aug 24 LAD 1.0 1 0 0 2 0 4 4 0 0.000 9t — 0 out d6 9t end d 6
50 Aug 27 PIT 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 3 2 2 0.000 9t — 0 out d7 9t end d 7
September Opp IP H R BB SO HR BF StS GB WPA Entered Exited
51 Sep 1 MIL 2.2 1 0 1 5 0 10 9 1 0.141 4b 12- 1 out a3 6b 3 out a5
52 Sep 4 CIN 1.1 0 0 0 1 0 4 3 1 0.229 8t 1-3 2 out tie 9t 3 out tie
53 Sep 9 ATL 0.2 1 1 0 0 0 3 0 2 0.007 9t — 0 out d1 9t -2- 2 out d1
54 Sep 11 ATL 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 1 0.024 7t — 0 out a4 7t 3 out a4
55 Sep 12 PIT 0.1 0 1 1 1 0 2 3 0 -0.009 8b — 0 out a1 8b 1– 1 out a1
56 Sep 14 PIT 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.030 8b — 2 out a1 8b 3 out a1
57 Sep 16 PHI 0.1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0.097 8b -2- 2 out a1 8b 3 out a1
58 Sep 17 PHI 0.1 2 2 0 0 1 3 0 2 -0.051 8b 123 2 out d2 8b end d 7
59 Sep 19 PHI 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0.093 9b 1– 2 out a1 9b end a 1
60 Sep 20 NYM 0.1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0.070 7t 123 2 out d1 7t 3 out d1
61 Sep 22 NYM 1.0 1 1 0 2 0 4 3 0 0.004 8t — 0 out a5 8t 3 out a4
62 Sep 24 CHC 1.0 0 0 0 2 0 3 2 0 0.044 8t — 0 out d1 8t 3 out d1
63 Sep 25 CHC 0.2 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 0.055 8t — 1 out tie 8t 3 out tie
64 Sep 26 HOU 1.0 2 1 0 1 0 6 0 2 -0.246 9b — 0 out tie 10b end d 1
65 Sep 27 HOU 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 3 3 1 0.006 8b — 0 out a6 8b 3 out a6
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/3/2011.

Add two more appearances in the first two games of the NLDS series and you have a nice little tool for TLR to overuse. Dotel even successfully negotiated a pair of lefties last night, getting Shane Victorino to scald a line drive directly at John Jay in center and Raul Ibanez to strike out after a pitched battle.

Trading Colby Rasmus when they did was, very likely, a huge mistake for the future of the Cardinals. Solidifying their bullpen for a (wholly improbable) run to the playoffs with Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski certainly looks smart today, with the Cards just two wins away from knocking out the mighty Phillies. Living for today is a big part of The Cardinal Way. And livin’ large they are.