Some comments on the first 7 games
First let me start out with the good: I like the way this team has won its games--gutsy, not giving up, always feeling that it still had the chance to win. I think the starting pitching has started almost every game since the opener strong, and feel good about Livan, possibly Loaiza, and even some of Patterson's stuff.
The huge let-downs in innings have to stop though--I feel like we go from 0-0 to 4-0 down in the span of a heartbeat. But the big issue, which became evident during spring training, is the offense, which really has to be changed as it is never going to just "click."
You heard us rail against the signing of Christian Guzman even before it happened. To us, it was obvious that such a signing would be sheer stupidity and an ignorance of basic stats. Well, it did happen and now we have to live with it. What I'm amazed at is that Guzman actually got to bat second for the first few games. I'm not making this up people: SI did a big article in their baseball preview on batting order, and espoused the scientifically valid theory that batting order is for the most part irrelevant--it is WHO you bat, not where....except, it went on to say, at the ridiculous fringes, that is, if a manager did something so stupid with the batting order that it defied logic and therefore had an effect. Again, I kid you not, what (and this was before the season started remember) did SI say would be an example of something so asinine? Batting someone like (yes, it named him and only him!) Christian Guzman second. As the second spot is all about OBP and Guzman is the worst OBP regular in baseball, batting him second is essentially the worst thing you can do with a lineup (of all the players and batting spots to choose from in the world, SI chose one example, and our manager decided to test it out).
Well, here is what Guzman is doing so far: a .392 OPS, worse than your average pitcher. For good measure, he is 0 for 1 in attempted steals making his true value even lower (not to mention his error the other day). The experiment must end, even in the 8 spot (heck, even in the 9 spot where he should be when certain of our pitchers are on the mound).
A couple of other grumblings: Plate discipline, plate discipline, plate discipline! Right now, only Nick Johnson has more than 2 walks on this team. Guillen and Vidro have goose-eggs! Let's show some patience out there, shall we?
Also, I love big Brad. But he can't rest on those two big games. He needs to carry a big load in this offense, and part of that is being consistent. He also needs to get his bat on the ball a bit more--not sure if anyone noticed, but so far this season, he is either getting hits or Ks. Only 7 outs for Brad this year not by way of the K.
Let's see if we can take 1 or 2 of these games before the home opener. Being within (or above!) a game of .500 is a big emotional difference from 3-6.