Monday, May 25, 2009
Wine Tasting Over the Weekend...
But did catch some baseball.
The Craig Stammen report. You gotta love that the coaches have the young guys going out and attacking batters. Detweiler did it, and then Stammen did it. The bad news is that at no point did he look dominating. He was on cruise control the first two time through the lineup, but once he dropped that walk to McLouth, the cloak of invincibility was off and the Pirates were locked in. Having these young guys going after hitters is the best thing the organization can do as it will separate the major league guys from the AAA and AAAA guys. In the long run, Stammen may turn out to be one of those AAAA guys who can dominate the International League, but may not have pure stuff to get guys out in the strike zone. However, it was fun watching the Pirates earn their lead, and better to watch the Nats battle back with some small-ball and close one out. The rest of the weekend wasn't quite as good. The team refuses to let Martis lose, so they do have that going for them... which is nice.
So far, the Elijah Dukes injury has illuminated a few things. First, he has arrived as a solid middle-of-the-order threat and the Nationals offensive slump corresponds to when he went on the DL. Second, he flat out should not be allowed near centerfield except under the most dire circumstances, as there are no quick fixes for the defensive woes the team faces. Having him out there certainly improves the offense, although Willie Harris has been better than expected again this year. Dukes makes some dunder-headed plays in the field and on the base paths, but generally brings more things to the table than he takes off. The same cannot really be said for Kearns anymore. 5 for 44? That is not a slump... that is a catastrophe.
The offense will start clicking again once Dukes and Flores come off the DL, but due to the continued defensive liabilities presented by the configured roster.
Quick note: is it just me, or does Kearns stand too far from the plate? He doesn't identify pitches on the outer half of the plate at all.