Sunday, April 10, 2005

A few thoughts on last night's game... 

1) That Hidalgo shot was huge. It is early, but Hidalgo v.2005 is looking a lot like the "Good Hidalgo" so far, the one that is an All-Star caliber right fielder. If we have that version all season, it is going to make a huge difference in the offense.

2) That Blalock shot looked very familiar. When Blalock is going well, it seems like he hits a lot of those high, arcing shots that are yanked down the right field line, and that land about 10-15 rows up in the rightfield bleachers. Blalock has shown good patience at the plate, with an OBP close to .400, and has shown some power, but his average is still just sitting at .200. Hopefully, that is going to get him back on track.

3) I still don't think Astacio should be on the team, but a few more starts like that, and I'll be eating my words. Great outing for him yesterday, although he (understandably) tired around the 90 pitch mark. I'm not sold on him yet, but I'm pulling for him to prove me wrong and continue pitching like that through the summer.

4) Teixeira looks awful right now. He started off slowly last year, as well, so hopefully he's just one of those guys like Lance Berkman who takes a little time to get into his groove. But Teixeira is the best player on the team, and the Rangers are going to struggle if he doesn't get it in gear.

5) Two huge mental errors yesterday, that looked like they were going to cost the team the game. Soriano got alligator arms on Shouse's throw in the 8th, which is what caused the error. Yeah, it wasn't a good throw by Shouse, but he has to cross over the bag and make the catch. Bad play by Soriano, and emblematic of the complaints that he has poor baseball instincts. The other mistake was by Brocail, in the same inning, when he let Sexson advance to second on the rundown resulting from the comebacker with none out. He did the right thing by running at Jeremy Reed, who was caught between third and home, but he threw the ball too soon, allowing Reed to head home and stay in the rundown long enough to allow the runners to advance to second and third. That allowed an extra run to score on the ensuing single. If Soriano makes the play on the bunt, then the comebacker to Brocail is an inning-ending GIDP, with the Rangers going into the 9th tied at 3. If Brocail makes the right play on the rundown, the Rangers go into the 9th down 5-3. Blalock and Hidalgo ended up saving the day, but those sorts of mental errors are killers, and the sort of thing that I'm sure exasperate Buck.

6) Even after going 3-3, I would have preferred to see either Dellucci or Gonzalez hit for Alomar to lead of the 9th last night.

All 3 of Alomar's hits were weak and lucky. There was no excuse for leaving him in to hit in the 9th even with a LHP on the mound
Remember, Hidalgo started with the Mets red hot and ended up with a poor season. His streaks are the stuff of legend.
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