phpkOJio1On May 10th Carlos Pena was hitting .252 with 13 home runs and 32 RBI in 32 games. That also happened to be the last game the featured Pat Burrell hitting behind Pena in the lineup.

Since then, Burrell has been sidelined with some sort of neck ailment, the source of which is still a mystery *wink, wink*.

In that span, Pena has played 25 games, hitting .174 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI.

Pena’s home run rate with Burrell’s smiling face scaring the opposing pitcher: Once every 10.6 plate appearances.

Pena’s home run rate with somebody less attractive in the 5-hole *cough* Gabe Gross *cough*: Once every 28.0 plate appearances.

Pena’s intentional walks with Burrell winking at opposing pitcher’s wife from the on-deck circle: 1

Pena’s intentional walks without Burrell in the lineup: 5

Pat the Bat hasn’t done squat to earn his paycheck, but when he is in the lineup, he sure makes it easier for Pena to earn his.

*Pat Burrell


  1. Joe D. says:

    A month for a "stiff neck" is the most ridiculous injury I've ever heard of... Has anyone heard any rumors as to the real reason that "The Bat" is on the DL? pinched nerve? STD? vacation to work on his mechanics? Dontrelle Willis' blood borne anxiety disorder?

  2. bobrittner says:

    It doesn't really disprove your point, but why did you identify Gross specifically as the #5 hitter behind Pena suggesting his inadequacy is the reason Pena is not getting IBB or hitting much?

    As a matter of fact, since May 10 Pena has started all but one game (25 in all) and Gross has never batted immediately after him-not once. In fact, he has very rarely batted 2 batters after him either. In those 25 games, Aybar has batted 5th thirteen times, Zobrist eight times and Bartlett four times.

    I am not sure we can make much of it anyway as Pena is given to long slumps as well as to hot streaks. There may be no cause/effect correlation here, just coincidence. After all, Burrell was not doing much to scare pitchers before being DLed and all three other hitters have been pretty good while batting 5th, better in fact than Burrell.

    Maybe there is a meaningful correlation. I think Pena is walking more since Burrell went down, and not just intentionally, and all 5 IBB came within 10 days of May 10. Perhaps the unwillingness to pitch to him also affected his timing and led to his slump. But that is all very speculative and based on flimsy evidence.

  3. bobrittner says:

    Oops. That first sentence should read "the reason Pena is getting IBB...."

  4. Don says:

    Pena needs to make contact with the ball..instead of swinging for a home run all the time...No matter who hits behind him!!!

  5. Gus says:

    I think this is somewhat of a coincidence. Pena was benefitting from a hot Longoria in front of him, and his loss has compounded some of that and is more important that Burell's absence. Moreover, he is just reverting to the mean a little bit anyway. I don't think it is plausible that Pena is slumping now when he has Zorilla (and not Burrell) in back of him. If anything, Burell's return makes me think Pena will get even less to hit. I really hope they leave Zobrist in the No.5 hole because it breaks up the rally-killing strike outs and gives you a little speed in the middle of the line up. Longo (esp. with hammy), Pena and Burrell are not a good 3 in a row.

    • Dirtbag Fan says:

      Did u just say that Longo, Pena, Burrell aren't a good three in a row???
      What universe do you live in?
      20 other teams would give anything you asked for for those three back-to-back-to-back

      • Joe D. says:

        My guess is that he's talking speed wise, that they clog up the bases, but they can also unclog the bases in a hurry too...

      • Gus says:

        Just talking speed and contact; given Pena and Longo's high strikeout totals (not to mention CC and BJ), I like mixing in somebody who can actually make contact in a pressure spot behind them, especially when Burrell is in one of notorious cold spells (all we've seen so far). Zobrist or Bartlett are good there.

        Proof is in the games when he actually makes it back. But so far Burrell is giving Vinny Castilla and Greg Vaughn a run for worst free signing move in franchise history. Saying he deserves the No.5 hole and that he is responsible for Pena's great start (and his absence explaning his dip) is just crazy to me.

  6. Dirtbag Fan says:

    Pena's swing has approximately 17 holes in it right now... it doesn't matter it Mantle, Gehrig, Bonds, and Ruth were behind him, he'd be getting K'd

  7. I know the Pat the Bat haters and the Zorilla lovers want to devalue Pat the Bat's value to Pena, but I have to agree w/ Prof. on this one. Maddon made the adjustment by putting the hot Bartlett behind him, but when Bartlett went down so did the amount of good pitches Pena was seeing. I think now that Longo's back, he'll see a couple more good pitches and once Pat the Bat returns... he'll see even more good pitches.


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