Monday, April 5, 2010

Baseball: A Game of Numbers

Before I start this post, I want to address the early success of Carlos Gomez in the first game of the season.

Gomez looked very good today going 4-5 with a HR, double and a pair of singles. Take this performance for what it is... a very good game. The key there is this was one game. As I was driving home from the game, I heard multiple callers refer to Gomez' superstar potential. I hope I am wrong, but there is little in Gomez' young career to suggest this. Five at-bats should not, and will not make up for three disappointing seasons.

The same can be said for Alcides Escobar who went hitless in four at-bats. It's one game. Sure it would have been nice for an equally impressive game as Gomez, but going hitless means little to change my thoughts on Alcides. With that being said, let's move onto my thoughts of today's game.

The main question on many Brewer fans' minds in the past week was who would start in RF. That question was answered when Jim Edmonds was penciled in on Monday. I didn't have a huge problem with this, but I would've liked to see Corey Hart get the start. My main problem with the decision came later in the game.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Brewers had runners on first and second with two outs. Randy Flores, a left handed pitcher was on the mound for the Rockies. Instead of calling back Jim Edmonds, Ken Macha allowed Edmonds to bat for himself. Words could not express my frustration with this decision. This was my main concern with letting Edmonds start this season. Sure he can destroy RHP, but he is absolutely lost against southpaws.

Over the past three seasons, Edmonds has posted OPS' of .441, .631 and .479 against LHP. Those numbers are beyond bad. In his career, Hart has produced much better against LHP. His career OPS' against LHP is .844. Nevertheless, Edmonds remained in the game and walked after a couple of bad swings. Casey McGehee followed Edmonds walk with an inning ending popup.

I guess there was no harm no foul here, but the same situation came up again in the ninth. Edmonds was again left in against a lefty and hit a soft liner to second to end the game. My question is how can Corey Hart be left on the bench in both situations? Baseball is a game of numbers. The job of a manager is to give his team the best chance to win based on those numbers. Leaving Hart on the bench in both scoring chances is absolutely inexcusable.

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