Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II
posted at 3/19/2013 9:52 PM EDT
Tonight's report from the fort...
Stayed for all nine today, especially after a Pawtucket-fueled six-run eighth, only to have one of our scrubs from last year (Valencia?) homer in the ninth off of Doyle. We got fifteen hits, but couldn't put anything together until the eighth. Some highlights and lowlights...
Dempster gave up three in the third on four straight loud hits, including a leadoff homer, to start the inning. He settled right down and only allowed three runs, and pitched four other very strong innings, five total. Except for that one lapse when every pitch seemed to be right down the middle, he was efficient and kept an 88 mph fastball down in the zone. Even in the bad inning he got out of trouble with minimum damage ( the inning started homer, double, double, single if I remember correctly and the final run scored because a bleeder was hit too softly to turn two.). It's refreshing to watch a guy catch the ball from his catcher and immediately be ready to pitch again, and pound the strike zone!
Ells looks like he's got a stopwatch on him, only allowed so many seconds per at bat before he hits his weak grounder to second. I think he saw four pitches today in three at bats.
Victorino doubled in the first and scored their first run; it's the hardest he's hit the ball all spring.
Middlebrooks is hitting the ball very hard and seems poised for a big RBI season.
Tazawa had a great inning, but Bard may well have punched his ticket to Pawtucket allowing three runs on a couple rockets and his usual walk and hit batsman. He also threw in a balk, the first time I've seen the lame old fake to third play this spring. Danny boy mustn't have gotten that memo.
The fourth outfielder/fifth outfielder back up first baseman conundrum is still a mess. Sweeney started at dh today and got a hit and both Carp and Nava had hits in the six-run eighth. I was talking to a guy who claims to be buddies with Nick Cafardo and he says Carp and Sweeney stay and Nava and Bradley get farmed. It makes some sense because of the options, but not in terms of bringing the best 25 north. That would also make Overbay the odd man out. From what I've seen, the backup firstbase job is not going to be as crucial as they feared as Napoli seems very comfortable there and is making all the plays.
Next home game is Thursday night...