Friday, April 9, 2010

And just like that...

We're knocked off our cloud. Not a good game at all by the Pirates. Thank God it only took place in front of the less than 10k people who were able to make it to the game. I still don't get why the Pirates try and have so many early day games whilst the demand for tickets is so low.

I don't have much to say about this one, except a few reactions to a lot of people jumping off bridges especially when it comes to a few different guys.

Bobby Crosby is not as bad a fielder as people are painting him based on this one game. His first throwing error was Paul Maholm's fault as he was late getting to first on a 3-6-1 double play; the throw was low, but if Maholm breaks to first as the ball is hit (as he is supposed to do), then he'd be able to make the catch and probably get the two outs. The second play was a tough ball to get to in the first place and while the throw was low, it was on-line; Garrett Jones (who looked completely lost at first today, probably because he got no time there in spring training due to the Jeff Clement experiment) took his stride off the bag before he knew where the ball was going and in doing so, was handcuffed awkwardly. I'm not advocating Bobby Crosby for a Gold Glove, but to just look at a box score, see Crosby with two throwing errors, and immediately call him an abomination in the field is pretty short-sighted and unfair to Crosby.

Relax with the "Andy LaRoche is garbage and I can't wait for Pedro" talk. I was just as frustrated as anyone when he looked at strike three for the second time (this time with the bases loaded and the pitcher up next), especially after he missed on tattooing the 2-1 pitch right before (a complete mistake by the pitcher that should have been sent a long way by LaRoche). But it's the third game of the season, and LaRoche has already shown how valuable he is with the glove and his eye (his throwing error last night was pretty bad, and he did go down looking twice this afternoon... but other than that...). It certainly doesn't help the debate since Pedro homered in the AAA opener tonight (nice line by Vinnie Chulk as well), but until Pedro lowers his K rate (he did strike out once tonight as well, although it was in five plate appearances which at 20% would make me quite satisfied) and improves his line against lefties, there is no reason to even talk about him forcing Andy LaRoche out of the lineup. Patience people.

Hayden Penn was terrible and must improve if he wants to stick around, but it was definitely worth giving him a shot today.

Kudos to Delwyn Young for shutting me up about his terrible at bat yesterday. He had two doubles and two walks in four plate appearances, which is really impressive considering his good games last year were more of the three singles in five at bats kind (which isn't terrible, but I'll take the slugging and on-base over average any day).

Other than the Belliard HR, there weren't too many balls that were scorched off of Maholm, with a couple of nicely placed fly balls dropping in here and there (the Furcal double down the line was the one that immediately popped into my head). But that's why it's so important for Maholm to keep the ball on the ground; the more fly balls, the more likely you are to let up extra base hits, including HRs. Maholm also managed to walk a lead-off hitter on four pitches and also issue the pitcher a free pass with two outs; both are inexcusable. And I'm not even going to get into the Dodgers' backup lineup he faced... Let's just wipe this one away, shall we?

The Bucs head out to the West Coast to play the Diamonbacks starting tomorrow night (9:50 FSN). Charlie Morton makes the start, so I'll definitely be watching this one.

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