Monday, April 03, 2006

The opener, Reader's Digest version

Alright, here's my impressions on the opener in a nutshell, just in case you don't feel like wading through the big post below:

  • Ollie looked very good. His velocity picked up as the game went on and I think even was in the 93 range a couple times. His breaking stuff is practically unhittable. He walked three guys, but it's still early and he didn't have much of a spring. Very encouraging.
  • Sean Casey is a double play machine (krusecontrol in the comments suggests that we should call double plays "the Casey specialty").
  • Randa and Burnitz were not great. With either of them batting behind Jason Bay, Bay isn't going to see much to hit this year. Today he walked three times without seeing much to hit before taking one to the wall when he lead off an inning.
  • Jack Wilson's added muscle in no way affected his play in the field today. He looked every bit as good as he did last year. Castillo also had a couple nice turns.
  • Shocking stats of the day: Oliver Perez- 1 RBI, Jason Bay- 1 outfield assist. Bay's assist wasn't that impressive as Rickie Weeks really tried to stretch a single on him, but on a couple other throws to cut off guys his arm looked much stronger. Bob Walk noted the same thing on the telecast.
  • Jim Tracy let Perez bat with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the sixth with Davis still struggling on the mound and Craig Wilson on the bench, then pulled Perez in the bottom of the inning after a K and a K/PB. If he wasn't going to let him go more than two batters, why let him bat at all? In the end, Craig wasted away on the bench as he used Nate McLouth and Freddy Sanchez to PH down three in the ninth inning. There's no point in saving Craig for a three-run blast if you don't get him to the plate at all.
  • No one in the bullpen looked impressive. Torres threw hard but had trouble with the strikezone, Marte couldn't get out the only batter he faced (Jeff Cirillo, Opening Day Bucco Killer extraordinaire) and Matt Capps threw like 37 fastballs in a row (not kidding). It's a shame the bullpen wasted such a good outing from Ollie.
All in all it was better than last year's opening day debacle, though I'd like to see a pulse from our offense eventually. Still, it was hard to watch today's game and not be impressed by Perez, so at least we have something to go on.