The Pirates composed a symphony of 9 hits in their season opener at Houston. While 5 hits off of Roy Oswalt is not exactly impressive, this game marks some drastic improvements for the up and coming team. Chris Duffy got on base more than one time in a game. If he gets on base, his speed will be a valuable weapon over the course of the season. Jack Wilson starts the season swinging a hot stick, poking two singles in the game. Wilson will have to remain productive out of the second spot for the Pirates to maximize their run scoring potential. Bay only had one hit tonight but he made it count for all that it was worth. LaRoche started his Pirate career with a performance that would make him fit in with one of the Pirate teams of recent years. The golden sombraro is about as nice as a golden shower. This leads me to expect a better performance out of him in upcoming games. Paulino went 0 for 5 just as LaRoche but only tallied one punchout to his credit. He’s a solid contact hitter so I think it is safe to assume that he can bounce back. Nady’s only hit was a nice shot to the short porch in left field at a crucial time, 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th. Jose Bautista had a solid game at the dish, and the Pirate nation needed to see him perform well after a dismal spring. I predict that if he plays a full year he’ll put up at least 20 HR. Castillo didn’t produce a hit in the game and it could be attributed to the lack of plate discipline that cost him his starting position.
Good clutch hitting in this game shows promise on the horizon for a team that is pulling itself up from the levels of mediocrity that plagued the organization in recent years. The one thing that will determine the quality that the Pirates can achieve this year is the bullpen. Three scoreless innings from Bayliss, Marte, Capps, and Torres leaves me intrigued by the potential of this team. Maybe the Pirates could be buyers this year at the trade deadline; Dave Littlefield has wisely left some budgeted money aside for such an occasion.
I jumped out to an early lead in my NL only fantasy baseball league last night with a great outing from Tom Glavine and Jose Valentin’s only hit. Regardless, my two players took me to the top of the Greystone League. I have traded for Shawn Green but he won’t be available to use until week 2 of the season, so I didn’t get his hits last night. The fantasy league is an NL Only Keeper League.
This is the roster that I will have for the rest of this week:
Ronnie Paulino and Bengie Molina
Rich Aurilia and Ryan Klesko
Jeff Kent, Jose Valentin and Kevin Frandsen
Jose Bautista and Pedro Feliz
Ryan Church, Matt Diaz, Ken Griffey Jr., Geoff Jenkins, Termel Sledge and Michael Bourn
Tony Armas, Aaron Cook, Tom Glavine, Livan Hernandez, Ted Lilly, Brad Penny, Jason Schmidt, Barry Zito
I understand that this is a weak looking team but I am rebuilding and the remaining 10 roster spots I have are riddled with prospects
Mark Loretta, Nate McLouth with prospects Joey Votto, Andy Laroche, Carlos Gonzalez and Hunter Pence
Homer Bailey, Scott Elbert, Yovani Gallardo, and Tim Lincecum
With a little luck I might be competitive this year. Next week I’ll show all the changes to my roster.
Well, I’m sold that Tom Glavine will not only win the 10 games that he needs to reach 300 career wins but actually emerge as the front runner for the NL Cy Young award. Glavine, being the seasoned veteran that he is, showed up for 2007 with his best stuff early on in this game. That incredible change up that he has mastered over the course of his career left the Cardinals batters weakly waving at the ball only to strike out or softly put the pitch into play. As is the case every year, Glavine will need to keep his pitches down in the zone and hit his spots. As the game wore on Glavine tired and failed to do these two things and it led to the lone Cardinals run that he surrendered. In my opinion, Tom Glavine will 20 games this year due to solid pitching and great run support that the Mets will provide.