When Jeff Suppan faces Tim Lincecum, I expect Jeff Suppan to lose. If the Brewers manage to put up some runs against young Timmy (who clearly spent too much time listening to Dance Hall Days with his computerized alter ego this offseason) and knock him out early, it’s really a shame to see their own staff completely melt down and fail to take advantage, especially against an offense that simply isn’t very good.
So we have disappointing opening, but there is some reason for optimism (as well as a lot to be concerned about).
What went right:
Meet your new patient Milwaukee Brewers, who walked 8 times in the game and were hit by pitches twice. Mike Cameron showed exceptional patience in drawing four of those walks. Some people will probably bemoan a lack of “timely hitting” but it’s pretty tough to complain about the offense. 4 of their RBI came with 2 outs, they were effectively aggressive on the base paths, and managed to put up 6 runs in a Tim Lincecum start. What’s not to like? If J.J. Hardy could have kept his hot hitting going, they may have pulled this one out despite giving up 10 runs.
What went wrong:
Jeff Suppan pitched exactly as you would expect. Suppan just can’t put guys away anymore. He is very reliant on the low strike being called, and if he’s not getting the call, he’s worthless, as his repertoire consists mainly of a mid 80s fastball and a hanging curveball.
Seth McClung did his best “Ricky Vaughn before the glasses” impersonation, and Dave Bush, in a rare relief appearance to tune up for his weekend start, showed that he needs some tuning up. Julio still sucks too, in case you were interested.
Nits to Pick:
Corey Hart looked to me like he was fighting himself. He did manage a solid base hit, but on a day when Giant pitchers couldn’t find the strike zone, Hart still went first-ball swinging far too often. He was occasionally patient, especially when no one was in scoring position, but in RBI situations he went up hacking. Also, he still hits an outside slider just like Pedro Cerrano. (By the way, did I mention that it’s the 20th Anniversary of Major League?)
One other quick nit. Bill Hall. Still shitty.
With Yo going today there is reason for optimism. The offense still looks good, and if Yo can prevent prolonged exposure to the bullpen, we can probably square this series. Plus Randy Johnson is throwing tonight for the Giants and our righty-heavy lineup loves the lefties.
Around the Central:
The Cubs lost to the Astros in extras. I caught the end of this game, and the Cubs suffered from one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen when Reed Johnson was called out on what should have been an infield single. He was safe by at least a foot or two. Jeff Keppinger finished them off with a broken bat single in the 10th. Heh.
St. Louis beat Ian Snell all over the place to avenge their opening day loss. Pujols went deep, as usual.
Those hosers can’t hold their liquor, eh? Maybe they need to start using this announcement:
We’ll have our traditional Opening Day Mailbag tomorrow, so make sure to tune back in.
Today’s HOTD is brought to you by good ol’ Miller Lite, because nothing tastes better in a parking lot.
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