Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thoughts on May 29th Game

***Joey Votto looked less than inspiring. In the bottom of the 2nd, Rolen made a very nice play at third, timing his charge so he could step on third for the force and fire across the diamond to try to get the double play on the runner heading to first. For reasons unknown, Votto didn't even have his foot on the bag, so what would have been a bang-bang play wasn't even a play because Votto wasn't on the base.

Secondly, in the top of the 9th, Votto was on first with 2 outs and Fred Lewis hits a single to right. For some odd reason, Votto didn't make it over to third base despite the fact that the outfield was deep in a no-doubles defense. If you're running on contact with two outs, then you should easily make it over to third on that play.

***Obviously, he needs to get the bat going a bit more and getting picked off first base isn't helping his cause, but it's fun to watch Janish and Phillips play defense.

***Jay Bruce is seriously locked in. Bomb to right and an opposite field single. Looks very, very comfortable at the dish.

***I wouldn't mind having Jordan Schafer playing leftfield and leading off for us. I really like his game. A lot. That throw from the warning track to second base on the fly without any momentum was impressive and he made something like 8 putouts last night. He even chokes up more with 2 strikes. Almost laced a double off Cueto, instead had a great AB and worked a walk. A defensive outfield of Schafer/Stubbs/Bruce would be ridiculous and if Schafer can keep his average up then he'd be a legitimate leadoff hitter.

***Johnny Cueto gets high marks in my book for going the distance. We needed a deep outing by the starter and Cueto rose to the occasion to give the bullpen some much needed rest. The one and only certainty in the rotation.

***Do Barry Larkin and John Kruk really travel to the city of the home team for every Sunday night game so that they can sit outside the ballpark at a desk? Seems like a job that could be done from a studio, but I suppose if heading to Bristol is the alternative, then maybe they don't mind.

***I miss having a true speedster in the lineup. Someone to make the other team nervous the moment he steps on first base.

***I still like what Fred Lewis is doing out there. Seems like he's taking good ABs and putting good swings on the ball.

***I like Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser, but I'm not sure Bobby V. is a good fit on Sunday night baseball. Johnny Cueto is going to take strike 3 to avoid getting on base and tiring out his legs?? Seems rather unlikely to me, Bobby V. There should be a rule suspending pitchers who unintentionally hit a batter in the head with a pitch? Really Bobby V.? Barry Larkin would have been a better fit. On the other hand, I love Orel's insight into pitching.

***Rolen is so damn solid at third, it's a pleasure to watch and a comfort from a fan's point of view.

***Looks like Brandon Phillips has a better stretch at first base than Joey Votto.

***Rolen really has a top hand heavy swing these days. Is that how he has always swung the bat or a concession to his chronic left shoulder problems?

***I don't know why, but I think I'd feel more comfortable with Freddie Gonzalez at the helm than Dusty. Maybe it was the pick off call to get Paul Janish at first after Cueto pulled the bat back on the bunt attempt. I'd imagine that's a call made by the manager.

***Janish has limited tools, but he has a lot of skills. That slide was great.

***It always surprises me that Brandon Phillips is so comfortable dropping his right knee down on routine groundballs hit right at him. Obviously he knows what he's doing, but seems like a strange choice.

***Am I the only one who looks at Drew Stubbs and thinks of Fred Lynn?

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