Forward into the future, or past to the back
I’m off Sunday before the home opener on Monday, so herewith, a few thoughts on what I saw here in Chicago…
- As I posted in response to a comment lower on the page, I had no problem with taking Carpenter out after six innings. The bullpen has been exceptional up to this point. It was cold, windy and miserable out there. Carpenter was at 97 pitches, a heavy load for six innings. And there are reports that he’s had a little back stiffness. No reason at all to push it. Trust me, I’ll have my tactical disagreements with TLR over the course of this season; but in this case I think he made the right move.
- Man is Skip Schumaker taking some nice at-bats. I preach major, major caution on guys who have big springs and guys who have hot starts, and I certainly don’t expect Schumaker to hit .357 this year. But I’m really impressed with the sense he seems to have for the situation — when it’s time to be aggressive, he’ll go after the first good strike. When patience is called for, he works the at-bat.
- If the manager reads this, which is admittedly unlikely, he’ll think I’m piling on, but I don’t like Encarnacion in the 2 spot. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Not because he’s left runners on — in fact, that’s the one thing I expect him to do really well over the course of the year, is come through with some base hits and sac flies in RBI chances. But because he makes too many outs. And I definitely disagree with TLR’s statement that Encarnacion’s out on the bases wasn’t a mistake because he was stealing — watch the replay and you’ll see he has the time to assess the play and still keeps going around second. Bad play, IMO.
I’ll be watching on TV like many of the rest of you on Sunday night. Actually, Sunday is looking like a heavenly day for me, other than my early morning flight. Get home, nap a little bit… watch the NASCAR race and the final round of the Masters while lazing on the couch with the beautiful bride, the dog and the cat… go out to dinner with the beautiful bride… come back and watch the Cards on TV in the warmth of our house. Good times indeed.
Then it’s back in the saddle for Monday, and I’m definitely starting to get geeked for the opener.
Currently playing on the iPod: U2, The Joshua Tree. Yep, still old.