Thursday, April 29, 2010

Eleven Strikeouts: Good Way To Get On Track, Right?

Let's hope so. I'm tempering my excitement, because Johnny had a few of these false starts last year when he pitched really well and then fell back into the pattern of suck. But even for the sake of tempered excitement, I'm not going to pretend that the game last night wasn't fun to watch. It really was. Jon was finally good. He wasn't great, because he was falling behind a lot of hitters and getting very high up in the count to too many people, so it was a battle. Battle he did, though. Seven innings of 1-hit baseball, 11 K's, and only 2 BB's makes for a good-looking pitching line. The ERA is still a little gross, at 4.71, but a few more good performances like that and he'll get it down. Yes. I do care about ERA. Call me crazy, but I'm not going to stop.

B-P closed out the game. Oki finally got a night off. He'll have tonight off, too, so maybe if we need him against the O's tomorrow, he'll be rested and good. B-P combined for 4 K's (3 of which came from Bard), 1 hit, and no drama. I like no drama. Then again, it would seem only natural that Bard would appreciate drama, but I'm glad he decided to go with another form of literature last night. Perhaps a sonnet? I don't know, sonnet 60 seems to sum up pitching changes well:

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end,
Each changing place with that which goes before
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.

I can definitely say the game felt like it picked up pace towards the end after Bard changed place with he who went before. And for the record, that's the last time I'll be putting anything Shakespeare related on this blog. Because I do not like Shakespeare. But I felt that was appropriate. What? Don't look at me like that. Just because I was an English major as an undergrad doesn't mean I have to like him. I'd take Lord Byron over Willy any day.... but chances are, he'd be too busy being taken by just about everyone else.

Back on to the topic at hand. Ronald was a crucial piece of both of our runs last night. He scored the first run and drove in the second (6th and 7th innings respectively). Brett Cecil was also good yesterday. He wasn't as good as Jon, but Jon wasn't as good as Dahmer, so I guess we all have something to aspire to, huh? Hm.... actually, Jon WAS as good as Dahmer. Better even in some senses. He didn't pitch as long, but he gave up fewer hits and runs, and got more strikeouts. New best pitching performance of the week? I don't know yet.

The offense wasn't great, but I always like a well-pitched game over a high scoring game. Tek didn't have a hit, but he also avoided striking out... which, really, just makes me happy. VMart, on the other hand... all he did was make five outs. One strikeout, a line-out, a fly-out, and one GIDP. Victor has now grounded into EIGHT double plays this month. He's on pace for nearly 50 double plays this year, so he better pull his shit together, because that's not ok. I don't know what his deal is, but I'd rather see him strike out than knock a runner off base. Nothing kills a potential rally like a double play. C'mon, Victor... I'm looking for a reason to want you in the lineup. Give me one! Anything! I'm willing to work with you here. Also, our resident dyslexic has been getting himself on track, but I'd really like to see fewer strikeouts, so maybe we should work on that? Then again, if it comes down to a strikeout or a GIDP, just take the K and spare me the anguish. Other than that, I'm not going to complain about the offense because we won.

No, really. We swept a series. I swear I'm not making this up! We've won three games in a row. Heck, I would have been happy with just winning the series, but sweeping it makes me giddy! There was a lot of good baseball played up at the Rogers Centre in the last few days. We went mostly error-free, and the team looked like they were collectively ready to break out and get the season going right. Plus, we're up to .500! We haven't had a win the day before an off-day since April 4th. It's a good feeling going into a day off, knowing that atoning for the game the night before isn't neccessary. I almost forgot what this feels like.

So we look towards Friday night in Baltimore and John Lackey to keep the good vibes going. I think he'll be just fine. After all, he doesn't want to be shown up by the kids, right?

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