Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday June 15: vs. the chicago white sox

Saw this on the way back to my car. I think it's an appropriate visual metaphor for the current state of the team. By the way, we lost.
Lincoln made his debut at PNC Park tonight and did about as well as he did a week ago. Five runs on six hits through six innings, three walks and two batters hit by pitch.
All the same, I feel good about this guy. When he fools them, he fools them big. Lincoln just needs to slow down and relax out there.
That being said, given the pitching so far this season, it's very difficult to objectively evaluate anyone.

First batter hit by pitch.
Second batter hit by pitch. Let no one say Lincoln is afraid to pitch inside.
And yeah, this happened. My camera prefers the embarrassing moments. Also, there are a lot of them.
Look at that average, though. Lincoln got another hit tonight, as well. I'd love to see some kind of statistic about pitchers getting hits in their first few MLB appearances. I also don't want to see that average drop below .600. Zambrano who.
Jose Tabata also made his debut tonight. It'll be interesting to see how indianapolis and altoona fare once the promotions are made.
Neil Walker had a beautiful surprise punt.
He didn't even bother to make the throw. Neil Walker gives me hope.

You better believe he crossed home plate.
Ryan Church, on the other hand, continues to struggle. They say he has only recently overcome a stomach virus and a bruised wrist. Let's hope that's true.
Church has a heck of a sad face. These photos are detrimental to my emotional well-being.
He's still valuable for his outfield versatility, though.
Here we see Church climb the right field fence in an attempt to catch a fly ball. He doesn't get it, but I love the effort.

Church doesn't yet realize it, but the ball is actually behind him, in the middle of the "1".
There it is.

Church ultimately left 5 runners on base tonight.
Doumit's bat continues to deliver. 2 hits, one RBI, and no defensive screw-ups!

McCutchen stealing second...
...And third. Between him, Tabata and Walker, we have amassed a decent cadre of base stealers.
McCutchen did screw up this play, however.

Yeah, there was a lot of this.
Of course, no one gives a damn about this game because shortly after its conclusion Pedro Alvarez got promoted from AAA! The icing on the cake: Iwamura is demoted to make room. In addition, there were rumors going around that JR was on the chopping block. The front office has since dismissed these rumors, to no one's surprise. If JR does get fired, it will be a symbolic gesture; he has one difficult, thankless job.

This much is certain: the performance of the major league team is not top priority for the front office. That is in the process of changing now that Lincoln, Tabata and Alvare have been called up, but no one expects this team to be in serious contention.

That being said, 20 games under .500 and 9 straight losses sets a trend that cannot continue. The current front office is not one to capitulate to fan and media pressure, but there is always a line beyond which the focus must shift to the performance of the 2010 team, and we are approaching it.

But enough about all that: the Alvarez Era begins! Because he has struggled a bit with hitting this year, I would not be surprised if he starts off slowly, but Pedro has consistently developed at every level and I feel he will continue to do so.

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