Back from Europe, it was a great trip. Did learn some lessons, the biggest is 'don't try to keep up with a Geordie drinking beer'. It won't end well.
Today I have been; trying to catch up with sleep, get laundry done, clean up 3 weeks worth of teenagers living in the house alone and reading a lot about Yogi Berra. He was a great player, maybe the best catcher in baseball history and yet, that gets lost in the interest in his personality. I love the Yogi quotes. One of my favorites is "I didn't say all the things I said". Or "No one goes there anymore, it is too crowded".
So I apologize for being slow with these random thoughts.
- The move I found most interesting, in a day of interesting moves, was intentionally walking Jacoby Ellsbury to pinch to Brett Gardner, in the 7th inning. Gibby, with Didi Gregorius on 2nd, 2 outs (Jose Bautista making a nice throw from right and Josh Donaldson making a nice tag), had Marco Estrada walk Ellsbury and then brought Aaron Loup in to face Brett Gardner. It almost worked, Gardner hit a ground ball p the middle, that would have been the last out, but it deflected off Loup and turned into an infield single. Maybe it was made on small sample info, Gardner (after the single) is hitting .182/.400/.182, Ellsbury 417/.462/.750 in 16 and 13 PA respectively. You and I (I hope) wouldn't put much stock in those numbers, but perhaps Gibby does. Perhaps it was to give Loup a little longer to warm up. That Loup got weak contact out of the at bats makes me happier with the move, but extra guys on base never seems like a good idea to me. I hate setting up a big inning.
- Loup, it seems to me, is the unluckiest guy on the team. Everything seems to fall in against him, no matter how weak the contact.
- I have less trouble with bringing Hutchison in, other than it would have been nice to give him his first relief appearance in a calmer moment. The main relief guys have been doing a lot of work. Lowe did come in the game later, but i'm thinking Gibby wanted him to have another day of rest. He threw 40 pitches, on the weekend, getting into both games..
- I think Hutch will get another appearance or two.
- Lowe had a fair bit of bad luck himself. McCann gets a bunt single then catcher interference? When was the last time you saw catcher interference? Our catchers have been 'cheating' a bit on getting to the ball on stolen base attempts. Not really cheating but getting to the ball as quick as they can, Dioner just reached forward a little too far.
- Is Bo Schultz hurt? He hasn't pitched in a while.
- Perhaps, late in close games, we shouldn't over-shift so much that it gives such easy bunt singles? Maybe with no outs and a 1-run game, play a little more normal?
- After that first inning, I didn't think Marco would pitch into the 7th inning. I think I would have pulled him after 6, but he did a great job, again. Does he get into the post season rotation? It would be tough to pull Mark Buehrle from the rotation and I think Marco is the better choice for the pen, of the two. Marco has been so good though.
- Good to see Kevin Pillar get a home run. He was a triple short of the cycle, but that he also took a walk, which is almost more impressive than the cycle.
- And that homer from Dioner may have produced my loudest cheer of the season. Right after I was complaining that they didn't pinch hit for him.
- Even with the good guys losing, that game was a lot of fun to watch. But let's win tonight.