Do you ever get the feeling you are watching a totally different team, from series to series? In Boston, we couldn't pitch. In Atlanta we couldn't hit. Then, thankfully, in St. Louis, we did enough of both.
I don't know how much should be credited to the lineup changes and how much getting away from Atlanta pitching caused the change in out offense, but the weekend games were much more fun to watch.
Some notes from the weekend:
- Our starting pitching, once again, was great. The starters pitched 22 of the 27 innings on the weekend. It makes life so much easier on the bullpen when the starters go that deep.
- It was great to see Eric Thames back. He did seem to bring a spark to the offense in Friday's game. Then he sits the next two. It is tough to complain though, since Rivera had a home run in Saturday's game and then went 2 for 4 (with a steal!) in Sunday's game. I imagine that, since we'll have the DH again for the the rest of the season, that he'll be out there, at least against RHP, almost every day if he hits at all.
- Sitting Nix helped. Edwin was 4 for 12 with 2 doubles and a home run. And no errors. I really wouldn't mind seeing him play some 3B, but I don't think the club will want to tell Jose, 'Hey, remember when we told you, again, that you would play third? We were kidding. Again.' I mean, Jose is a nice guy and all but I wouldn't want to piss him off too much. I could see something where Jose plays 3rd against RHP, with Thames in the outfield, then plays RF against LHP, with EE at third. Against right-handers, I could see Rivera getting more outfield time with EE DHing.
- Nice to see Aaron Hill hitting again, he was 5 for 13, with a walk, on the weekend. But every time I think Aaron is turning a corner he goes into another slump, so I'm not counting on this continuing. He did seem comfortable in the 2 spot, other than when he was asked to bunt.
- How many times, this year, have we seen a fly ball fall between Corey Patterson and somebody, when Corey has been in CF? If I'm Farrell, I'm telling him, 'when you are in CF, catch every ball you can reach. Next time that crap happens, I'm coming out on the field and pulling you from the game, physically'. I don't know what happens, if he forgets he is the Cfer for a moment, or he's just scared of collisions in the outfield, but this has got to stop. The trouble is, it doesn't cost us just one base, these plays go for, at least, a double. On a play that should be an easy out, that's not acceptable.
- Other than the above, I wouldn't mind a Davis/Patterson platoon in CF, at least until one of them remembers how to hit. Davis is doing a little better vs. LHP. Surprisingly, Patterson is hitting lefties (.304/.342/.406) better than righties (249/.282/.393), but I can't see that continuing. In his career he has hit RHP better. Having just one of them in the lineup would be helpful.
- On the good side, Patterson took two walks yesterday, his 3rd and 4th walk of the month. Is it possible that he will take more pitches hitting deeper in the lineup? Does he feel like he has to swing in the 2 spot?
- A big hurray to Ricky Romero for making the stupid 'walk the 8th batter to face the pitcher' move fail. I still think a manager should be able to trust his pitcher to get the 8th guy in the order out and he should see the benefit of not facing the top of the order the next inning. But I love it that Ricky made them pay.
- Yeah, the Jays did the same thing in the 5th inning, Romero walked the 8th hitter, Daniel Descalso, to face the pitcher and it worked out. At least that walk wasn't to load the bases.
- Nice to see JP hit a home run yesterday. I hope that is a sign that his thumb is feeling better and he is ready to go on a bit of a tear.
- Jose Bautista had a nice weekend too, 4 for 12, a walk, a double and a home run.It looks like the power is coming back.
- I think Frank Francisco is coming around (he says, knowing that by just posting that line, Frank will get shelled tonight). Ignoring the error Saturday, he had good back-to-back outings and he has only given up 1 earned run this month. There has been too many hits, but I am trying to see the positive.
- As much as I like NL games for the increased use of the bench, I will be happy to get back to having the DH tonight, and for the rest of the year.
- Maybe we can have another series sweep tonight.