Monday, April 12, 2010

Five Swings: Twin Killing

The Red Sox did the charitable thing and offered up little resistance as the Twins opened up their new ballpark with a victory.

1. Who let the dogs out? I must have been hallucinating, but it sure looked like a Spanky and Our Gang looking dog in a box seat behind home plate.
Maybe I wasn't hallucinating.
2. Swing batter, batter. David Ortiz had an RBI double today, as he continues to head up the "short list" on the DH watch. Ortiz halved his strikeout total today, going down twice. The bad news is that Big Papi has fanned in fifty percent of his official at bats. The good news is that he hasn't done anything like Ben Roethlisberger who is an embarrassment to the NFL and the Steelers.

3. Great Scott. Scott Atchison had a wonderful story this spring training, as he made the Sox out of camp, and looks to contribute mightily to the Sox pen. Unfortunately, Mister Atchison hasn't been exactly Dennis Eckersley out of the bullpen thus far, coming in today and allowing the first homer ever hit in Target Field. With Alan Embree looming in Pawtucket, Atchison has to be looking over his shoulder, whether that's fair or not.

4. RIOs? Running into outfielders. The Sox' defensive strategy left a bit to be desired yesterday, with Bill Hall nearly colliding with Jacoby Ellsbury while making a routine fly ball into a disaster, and Adrian Beltre and Ellsbury having the real thing, leaving Ellsbury out of the lineup for a few days. It's not that easy, especially running full speed with a noisy road crowd...of course, neither Hall nor Ellsbury were approaching full speed on the pop fly.

5. Walkabout. As I mentioned the other day, the Twins seldom beat themselves, playing good defense and avoiding allowing an excessive number of walks. Today, the Sox received only one base on balls, and the 292 pitch game (162 by Sox pitchers) clocked in at 2:59. The centerfield camera shot from Target Field is magnificent, with a great view of the corners. You didn't need an Amica Pitch Zone to decide whether a strike  was indeed a strike. Of course, QuesTec has been out, and Zone Evaluation System is in to assess pitch location and umpire performance. Is the ball-strike evaluation better, worse, or the same?

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