Thursday, April 8, 2010
I should probably be posting a lot more as this really is the only time for me to wave my Bucco Fan flag with pride, but between work, SSA baseball, and going to the first two games of the season, I haven't really had a whole lot of time to reflect on the blog. But here are a few of my thoughts from the Buccos' first couple games:
If the Buccos are going to do these Buck Nights, they're gonna have to do a whole lot better job at providing enough personell to take care of the crowd. What a mess it was last night; the line at the ticket window was ridiculous and then when we got in, the concourse was packed with people which made it a pain to get to our seats. I'm usually singing the praises of PNC Park and their staff (I used to work there), but they were wholly unprepared for last night. It was a complete cluster.
Don't be fooled by Ross Ohlendorf's start, it wasn't good. He fell behind in the count, got bailed out by the infield, didn't have a good GB/FB ratio, gave up a HR to Russ Martin (a guy who lost all his power last year), and only got one SO against 3 BB. Just not a good start at all, although few balls were really scorched and he did have some good velocity early on (consistently hitting 93), but he needs to improve.
There were a lot of things that were impressive about GFJ's HR yesterday, but the thing that stood out was it being against a left-handed pitcher. I've bitched and moaned about a lack of a quality right-handed 1B/RF because of Jones issues against lefties, but he hit a bomb off of CC in the spring that was pretty impressive and now this; if he can improve his patience against lefties, he'll be more of an all-around hitter and one of the more dangerous RF in the NL.
Lastings has been the most impressive player throughout the first two games in a Pirate uniform. He's all over the place, making things happen right and left, and really scorching the ball (he's only got two hits 9 AB, but he's squared up a few more than that). To be honest, I was a little frustrated to see him out of the lineup for today's day game with Delwyn Young taking his place in the lineup; especially after Young's first pitch pop-up with the bases loaded last night (terrible AB).
The bullpen has been able to put up some zeros for the most part, and DJ Carrasco looked a whole lot better last night, but they're not going to be able to keep it up if they keep walking guys at this rate. I'm not going to bring up the stats, but they're not throwing enough strikes. Although I love everything about Octavio Dotel.
That was a hell of an at bat from Ronny Cedeno to end the game last night. I'm not the biggest Cedeno guy (he's got zero plate discipline), but he worked his was back into the count by spoiling a few good pitches and then really stung that single over the SS's head.
Aki Iwamura does not have a hit yet, but who cares? The guy is setting the tone at the top by taking pitches, working the count, and getting on base. He saw 33 pitches in 5 plate appearances last night; that's over 6 pitches per PA, which basically means he took every count to full. I know that doesn't impress a lot of people, but as a guy who preaches patience like none other (and has had to watch some pretty brutal Bucco teams in terms of patience), it's music to my ears.
Today's game is supposed to start soon (12:35, FSN), but there's also rain in the forecast, so we'll see. Maholm will do what he does, but it will be interesting to see how these guys hit against Chad Billingsly, who has outstanding stuff, fell off a cliff in the second half of last year, but has apparently turned it around this spring.
Recap for last night's game here, here and here. One last note to all people attending Pirate games; if the game is good (tied late in the game) please do not start the wave. It's bush. Thanks.