Stars of the Game
1st: Kosuke Fukudome
2nd: Carlos Zambrano
3rd: Ben Sheets

If this was NCAA football, the season would officially be over. Thank God it’s a long year because I really think this team will win the division by double digits. That being said, I’d like to take some time to share my notes from today’s game. I’m going to probably go with a more bulleted list of notes this year as opposed to the long, drawn out recaps of action you watched along with me. Feel free to add your own notes as well and remember that the diaries are always available to share your thoughts with the whole community. That being said, here are the notes:

  • Thank God we saw a great start from Kosuke Fukudome because I was really worried that he would start out the year similar to the way he played in spring training and the boo birds would be out early. There’s no question all the crazy plays on his name the bleacher fans would have come up with had he gotten off to a poor start. Instead, I came away hugely impressed with what he can bring this team. Be careful not to get too excited about the home run power, because he’s not going to be a 30+ guy. My guess is that 20 is more likely. Ultimately, I see Lou using him in the second spot in the order like Bob Brenly mentioned in the game. His skill set is a perfect match for that spot.
  • Carlos Zambrano looked really good today before suffering the usual suspect, cramps. My question, to no one in particular, is why can’t he beat these cramps? If dominating on the mound is as important to him as his emotions indicate it is, he should be taking any measures possible to make sure cramps didn’t derail his outing. Aside from that, I was pleased with his outing, especially compared to April starts of the past.
  • There are two types of fans that will come out after today’s game. First are the fans that will bash Kerry Wood and call for Carlos Marmol after today’s wonderful outing in the 8th and poor outing in the 9th. Then there are the folks that will stay the course with Wood (I’m in this category). One game should not decide the fate of Wood. I’d hang tight with him until at least mid to late May. Let’s try to remember that Marmol is still very young and has to earn it.
  • The Ryan Theriot in the leadoff spot experiment didn’t go so well today, but like the closer, it’s a situation that needs to sort itself out. One thing is for sure. With Soriano unable to really test the wheels, he doesn’t need to be the leadoff guy. I’m fine with Theriot getting a shot before we try other options.
  • You can’t blame Fukudome for being caught in a rundown in the 7th. It was a wild pitch gone wild, if there is such a thing. He clearly had a good read on the fact that the ball was going to be a pitch in the dirt and he was being aggressive. There was no way to project that after Kendall blocked it, it would hit directly off of Soto and back into Kendall’s possession.
  • I really hope Ben Sheets gets injured soon. Yes, I really did just wish an injury on someone. He’s just that good. We need him out of there.
  • Mark DeRosa hit the ball well today, but for the most part came away with nothing to show for it. He also made a great diving grab in the third on a soft liner by Gwynn.
  • Is it just me or does anyone else get nervous when pitchers turn a 180 and fire the ball to second? I’m always afraid that the ball will get there before the fielder. Today it worked great, but I always wonder if it’s more trouble than it’s worth. I know you have to keep the runners honest, but I get worried.
  • One game in and I’m already tired of the WGN baseball in 2008 commercial. I really hope it’s not a commercial that is going to run all year.
  • I’m super excited about the fact that MLB Extra Innings has now figured out that it would be beneficial to have both the home and away television feeds available. Wonderful, now I don’t have to sit and listen to Vin Scully drone on at 1 AM.
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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail