Well the first 2 games were interesting. Opening day went as I thought, good pitching, no offense and a 2-1 loss. The second game looked like the old Reds. Score a bunch of runs, give them back thanks to bad defense, then leave runs out there thanks to double plays and bad base running. I thought Dusty preached good base running and defense. That is why we got rid of our home-run, on base machine Adam Dunn. Sorry Dusty. It didn't work. We pissed away a good hitting day because of an error by Gonzalez, a non-error by Bruce that led to 2 extra runs, and a base running error. Not to mention some bad pitching by Mike Lincoln.
Let me breakdown the good and bad so far:
-Joey Votto's bat. He has been great and is hitting the ball very hard. 4-8 with a homer including a hit and a walk against Johan Santana, the best pitcher in the NL. He seems to have improved off his unbelieveable rookie year. I think the WBC really helped him. He got to hang out with Morneau and Bay for team Canada and learn about hitting. Also, playing in that playoff atmosphere has him ready to experiece that in the big leagues. Unfortuneatly. it will probably be for Toronto in a few years once the Reds trade him there.
-Brandon Phillips' patience. Don't look know because you may jinx it but BP has decided he doesn't have to swing at everything. He has walked 3 times in the first 2 games which is amazing for a player who has yet to walk 40 times in 162 games. Keep it up.
-Edwin Encanacion's patience. I can't comment on his bat seeing as how he is 0-5 but he has managed to keep it on his shoulder enough to draw 4 walks. Why the Mets have walked him when it is clear he is struggling to make solid contact is beyond me.
-Dusty Baker. You knew this one was coming. He put in Laynce Nix and Darnell McDonald before Wily Taveras when Wily was clearly healthy enough to play. He legged out a triple then scored on a sac fly. Doesn't sound like someone who is too sick to play. Letting those other 2 swing a bat when a capable, better player sits on the bench is inexcusable. Then again, so is allowing Carlos Beltran and his 118 career OPS+ to hit with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1st base open. WALK HIM and let your great D turn the double play. Instead, Beltran singled up the middle for 2 runs, the 2 runs the Mets needed to win the game. Well done Dusty.
-Reds pitching control. 7 walks opening day, 7 walks last night. Granted, the Mets are a patient team but walking nearly a batter an inning is terrible. I know Dusty thinks it clogs the bases so he probably encourages walks but it doesn't clog anything. Only when it brings up the pitcher or creates a double play does it make even a little bit of sense. The Reds pitchers need to find the strike zone and find it now or it could be a long season.
The Mets go for the sweep this afternoon which shouldn't be to hard thanks to an injury to the statue that is Jerry Hairston. His totally foreseeable injury forces Darnell McDonald into the lineup again. Darnell is a 30 year old journeyman outfielder with a grand total of 45 ab's in the majors. He is not good at baseball. Glad he could start 2 of the first 3 games for the Reds instead of someone like Gary Sheffield or Drew Stubbs. Gary has his fielding limitations but can still hit and Stubbs has never been in the big leagues bit has shown promise and deserves a shot. Either one would be an improvement over McDonald and both cost the same amount of money. I guess Dusty felt that after trading journeyman Jeff Keppinger he needed McDonald to fill the "trys hard but can't really play baseball" void. Too bad David Eckstien wasn't available.
3 hours ago