Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Conjured Relevance

Yesterday was supposed to feature a whopping 7 games, but as I'm learning firsthand, weather can be a real troublemaker (outside of California, at least).  Thus, our schedule was trimmed to 4, plus an absurdly late-running game in the nation's capital.  There were a couple NBA games last night to fill the void left by baseball succumbing to mother nature's whims, and at least one of the two playoff games was good.  Still, I can't help but feel like Boston is even worse for wear after WINNING last night, since it took a last-second three by Ray Allen.  If this is how hard the Celts have to fight to get even one win on their home court, Chicago appears to be in prime position to take the series.  Admittedly, it's still far from over, but the Bulls are playing with a certain swagger, a palpable confidence that should only swell when they get back to their nesting spot in Illinois.

On the baseball front, the short stack should allow us to break down the games individually on back-to-back days.  Don't get spoiled, though, this can't possibly last.

Red Sox/Orioles - The early a.m. Patriot's Day game in Boston turned into a blowout, and it's starting to look like the Sox are figuring out how to put a few in the win column.  Justin Masterson tossed 5 solid innings while attempting to stretch out his pitch count.  Tough to say if he'll stick in the rotation, but he certainly earned a chance if you asked me.  Put him on the watch list for now.  While the Sox are winning, Mike Lowell could also be worth a look.  He's a consistent performer, and a free agent in a number of leagues.

Braves/Nationals - Washington wins! The Nationals are now an heroic 2-10 on the season, but to their credit, they have been playing a bit better.  The bullpen blew leads in 3 straight before finally hanging on last night in a game postponed 3 hours by rainstorms.  The team of many Zimmerman(n) needed it bad, too.  Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann had a very nice debut performance, allowing just 2 runs over 6 innings.  There's an awful lot of hype surrounding young Jordan, and he very well may post some decent numbers before the league adjusts to him.

Marlins/Pirates - Florida was due to lose one, and the Pirates were the lucky bunch able to capitalize.  Ross Ohlendorf was the story in this game, blanking the Marlins (and holding the Fish to just 2 hits) over 7.0 sterling innings.  The Pirates have a formidable starting rotation, now that folks are getting healthy, and if they can continue to hover around .500 like they are now, those starters should be in line for some victories.  The key is to be judicious in how YOU start them.  Consider benching, say, Ian Snell, when he faces Albert Pujols and the Cards.  Offensively, Adam Laroche, the focus of our Saturday article, continues to put up ionospheric numbers (for him) in the early going.  Again, taken with a grain of salt, but Laroche, who hit just .175 last April, is still in the mid/high .200's, and collected another pair of RBI's last night.  He's available in most leagues, and should be watched like a hawk, or possibly even picked up if you need a 1B.  Hell, even his little brother cracked the Mendoza Line!

Reds/Astros - A game that meant absolutely nothing to anyone outside of Houston and Cincy.  Bronson Arroyo and Mike Hampton got together before the game and decided that they'd both pitch just about well enough to win.  Though, a rousing applause for the Reds, who are over .500 after 12 games.  Get the pen and paper ready, 'cuz it's time to write home about it.

Rockies/Diamondbacks - SOMEONE had to win this game, right?  Jason Marquis came back down to earth after two incredible starts, Jon Garland pitched "okay", and somewhere a fan of good baseball felt his insides die a little.  Mark Reynolds had a nice game swinging the bat, but I'm not convinced anybody that plays for a team with "On D Back" in the team name is worth using right now, except maybe Dan Haren.


M. Stentz said...

The first MLB game I ever went to was Reds-Astros. The Astros killed us. I still get excited every time we beat them. I just might write home.

Danno said...

Hahaha. What are the odds?

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