Thursday, July 22, 2004


2 Losses in a rwo - Slow Burn

The Expos have since wasted two good pitching efforts (surprise surprise).  Livan shut down the Pirates, getting the rare complete game loss.  Livan continues to shine as a guy who really can shut down the bad teams, can keep you in the game against good teams, and should never, EVER pitch against the Braves.    The offense had a remarkable 1 run off 10 hits (and 4 walks!).  It's hard to score that little if you tried.  

Then the offense came back the next day with 4 runs of 13 hits (and 3 walks), still poor but at least reasonably bad.   They had 2 HRs!  They haven't had 2 HRs in the same game since July 1st.  Seriously.   It wasn't quite enough though as the Mets took advantage of a wild pitch and an error to take the win.   Patterson pitched ok again, but for the love of god can they get someone in there to teach him to throw strikes?  For this guy it's the difference between a passable #2/#3 starter and a bad and short long relief career.   The bullpen using 3 of the Fantastic 4 and a surprisingly effective Kim, once again did well.  But can someone tell me why you bring in Horgan to face Reyes (a switch who hits lefties better), Matsui(ditto), and after he gets them both out THEN replce him with Ayala to face righty Zeile?   Not that it really effected the game but it makes no sense to me.  Now he'll be reluctant to use Horgan tonight, probably and we'll see some of the...less qualified bullpen out there.

I'm ceasing to be optimistic about the rest of the year.   I knew Montreal's offense is bad but do you know how bad?   The difference between #1 in runs scored and second to last is about 140 runs, the difference between second to last and the Expos is 70.  The can't get on base (OBP of .301) and REALLY can't hit for power (.370), and I think the latter is the most pressing problem this team faces.  Their OBP I think will be better in the second half (it already is in these few games) especially with Johnson back, for the full half, but the power...

Vidro is a really good 2nd baseman, with decent pop (.450) for that position.  The other acceptble hitters on the team Nick Johnson and Brad Wilkerson are good hitters but don't really have the power needed from a corner outfielder or a first baseman, and I'm not sure they ever will.  Endy Chavez (assuming he can keep up his average in the second half) would end up being a acceptable CF, but again no power.  I don't see the power coming from anywhere unless Doc Brown can bring us back 2003 Cabrera and 2000 Batista. 

It might be in order to trade one of the fantastic 4 (if I had my druthrers it would be Tucker - who I think is pitching a bit over his head) for a minor league prospect with pop.  Since noone in our bullpen (or pitching staff or team except for Vidro) is going to fetch a Dallas MacPherson like talent, maybe a Jason Michaels?   I know he is not expected to hit well in the majors, too many swings and misses, but this team really needs power.  Just a thought

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