I didn’t see the game — for whatever reason it wasn’t showing on the plane; but when I landed I checked my phone and saw that we had a runner on third with one out in the eighth of a 3 -3 game and I thought “great — we should go up 4 – 3.” By the time I got to my car, Pujols had stolen second and was being singled home. It was 4 – 3 alright, but not in our favor. For some reason, I thought of a great Tommy LaSorda line from the past…when asked after a game what he thought of his team’s execution, he responded “I’m in favor of it.”
That’s not the topic of this post, which doesn’t really have a set topic, but 1.) not scoring in those situations hurts, and 2.) Pujols stealing? Come on. But I didn’t see it…so whatever…
Here’s my thought for the day:
Aaron Heilman is doing a great job. But I don’t think he should be a one inning everyday pitcher. The guy is a starter by definition — live arm and more than two pitches in his repertoire — so if he’s not starting for us, at least use him for what he is best suited. Why not let him go two or three innings twice a week? I am not saying that this is why we lost last night — who could know that Marmol wouldn’t get it done? I’m saying that if the game goes thirteen innings, who pitches? No one would be left in the bullpen in whom we can have any confidence. If Heilman pitches the seventh (as he did) and let’s say the eighth and ninth — even if both teams are still scoreless — he gives the Cubs a chance to take the lead and let Gregg or Marmol try to save it. This pitcher an inning thing is becoming a trend that could and will bite us in extras. I think Heilman once through any order is a decent bet — why not use him that way? The same could be said for Sean Marshall, but I prefer him as a starter (and I think given the ball every fourth or fifth day he’ll be a 12 – 15 game winner every year.)
This speaks to management, but when you have players with a propensity for minor injuries, like Aramis Ramirez, shouldn’t you build your team with some contingency for that? He always has a few things during the year that happen to him, hammies, whatever, that cause him to miss a few stretches of games. I’m not criticizing him for it — it is what it is and he’s been a very solid player for us — but knowing that, why don’t we have a player who can backup for third base. Fontenot is not the guy. As Joe noted, Fontenot may not even be the guy for second base. Yes, the DeRosa trade is looking worse and worse — but that’s not my point with this. Trading DeRosa for whatever reason is fine; why wasn’t the need for an Aramis backup addressed? We have a load of outfielders and guys who can play second base — why not a utility guy who can play third? I think that was an oversight by management. In fact, I think this team was “oddly” constructed — almost without considering certain possibilities in order to become more left handed and “faster.” We have Jumpin’ Joey and AAron — neither of whom we REALLY NEEDED — and no real third base backup, no real right handed bat off the bench to PH, and the middle of that bullpen? Never mind that.
Despite last year’s playoff debacle, It appeared that the team had good chemistry. This year, I’m not seeing it yet. Maybe later. Or not.