Tough loss for the Astros; we were up 4-1 going into the 8th, Oswalt gives up a single to Ray Durham, strikes out JT Snow, and a single to Michael Tucker. Oswalt has thrown 97 pitches, and Barry Bonds is coming up. He's 2-for-2 with 2 doubles and a walk. What do you do?
Jimy Williams came out, talked to Oswalt, and left him in. He immediately gave up a 3 run HR, tying the game, and the Giants went on to win when Octavio Dotel hit a batter, who was bunted over to 2nd, threw a wild pitch (he couldn't throw any breaking pitches for strikes and didn't look good), and a sac fly drove him home.
I pull Oswalt there. He's thrown 97 pitches, he just gave up solid line drive hits to Durham and Tucker, and Bonds has ripped him twice. You've got Lidge and Dotel ready to go - what are you waiting for?
In Jimy's defense, I think he caught a lot of flak for pulling his starters too early last year, which I don't necessarily agree with - I thought he did a pretty good job handling the staff last year. But there's no doubt that most people thought he was too gentle. So I think he feels obligated to prove that he'll stick with his starters. But I think he made the wrong choice this time.
Random observations from Opening Day:
1. I really, really don't like Adam Everett in the 2 spot. In the 1st inning, Craig Biggio (who looked pretty good - he's gotten rid of the high leg kick and had 2 singles and a walk) singles, and Everett immediately sac bunts him over. I can see this happening time after time this year, and I'm going to hate it every time. You do not waste outs. You get 27 of them per game, and you have to score as many runs as you can in between 3-out allotments. YOU DO NOT WASTE OUTS. Sigh...
2. Richard Hidalgo is going to have a big year. He was 3-4 with a HR, but more than that, he: 1) legged out an infield single - he really moved fast down the line. It's good to see he's still got some speed. and 2) His HR was to opposite field. A few years ago Hidalgo tried to pull everything. No longer.
3. Ausmus looks better at the plate than last year. Of course, it wouldn't take much, and he still doesn't pull anything, but he showed good patience and a decent line drive swing. He could go .250 / .320 / .350, which would be almost a 100 point increase in OPS.
4. Oswalt looked pretty good. He works fast, switches between 95 and 70, has added a changeup, and pitches inside. I like him.
5. With 2 outs, tie game, Jimy pinch hits with....Jose Vizcaino?? Give Jason Lane a shot!
That's it for now. Andy's gonna argue with me, I think.