<table summary="" align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="500"><tbody><tr><td>The Kipper: Do the merciful thing
</td></tr> <tr><td>By Bernie Miklasz
</td></tr> <tr><td>06/15/2007 4:57 am</td></tr></tbody></table>
Anyway, every Thursday night, I drink some coffee and work on the Bernie Bits. It’s almost time to pack it in. But before I sign off, before I can sleep, I must state the obvious.
Memo to Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan: Please stop the fight. Call it a TKO. Do the merciful thing.
Wells lasted 1.1 innings in Thursday’s 17-8 pasting by the Royals, and he dropped to 2-11 on the season.
Look, I know your hearts are in the right place; you want to give Kip time to turn things around. A few weeks back, in his first start since the birth of his first child, Kip pitched well, and I wrote a hopeful column about how this could be the turning point, blah, blah, blah. It wasn’t. And I know you don’t have a list of appealing, ready-made options to plug into the rotation, so you’ve been giving Kip even more rope to … oh, never mind.
Since the start of the 2004 season, Wells is 17-41.
That winning percentage (.293) is the second-worst during that time among all major-league starting pitchers with at least 50 starts.
And you know who’s No. 1 on that list of worst winning percentage? Uh, maybe you don’t want to know. The answer is Ryan Franklin at 12-31 (.279) in his pre-STL days. OK, so maybe it really is a good idea to keep Franklin in the bullpen, where he’s doing a solid job for the Cardinals. But I’d have to think that even Franklin would be a more effective starter than Wells at this point - which isn’t exactly going out on a limb.
It isn’t just Kip’s won/loss record. A pitcher’s W-L ledger can be misleading.
Not in this case. Or not much, anyway.
Since the start of the 2004 season, Wells has the 7th-highest ERA (5.38) among major-league pitchers with at least 50 starts. The only starters with higher ERA inflation are Casey Fossum (5.94), ol’ friend Sidney Ponson (5.75), Joel Pineiro (5.64), Ramon Ortiz (5.50), Scot Elarton (5.46), and Eric Milton (5.45).
And during the same time frame (2004 until present), only three starting pitchers have allowed more baserunners per nine innings: Russ Ortiz (15.76), Jamey Wright (15.24) and Ponson (15.13). Wells’ rate is 14.87 runners per nine innings.
I could go on with negative stats. But why look at more numbers? We don’t have to go to the judge’s scorecards to determine that this bout is over. Stop the fight.
STLtoday.com Blogs - Sports - Bernie's Extra Points - The Kipper: Do the merciful thing