Thursday, April 15, 2004  
Pirates Lament about Clement

Wednesday's 8-3 drubbing of the Pirates worked as a balm on a stinging wound for me. Having seen my Cubs dismantled by a team featuing Raul Mondesi and Rob Mackowiak hitting 4-5 and Tike Redman playing center field just one day before, I needed reassurance that this team had something -- anything -- going for it.
I didn't get to watch the game, but there were a lot of interesting numbers in the box score:

-Todd Walker had 3 hits and drove in 3 runs, but committed a throwing error.
-Moises Alou homered, but is hitting .194 on the season.
-Aramis Ramirez hit two homers and got three hits. Can this be right -- Ramirez's 2 solo shots ran his season total to TWO RBI?
-Along with the three homers, the Cubs had four doubles.
-Matt Clement threw six solid innings. He walked three and struck out seven, with six grounders and five fly ball outs. says Clement was wild early on, but settled down. Clement's "Game Score" was a solid 72.
-LaTroy struck out two and has yet to allow a run.
-Francis "Not Pratt" Beltran made his debut, walking one and striking out one in a scoreless inning.
-Barrett had an eventful day: one run, one hit, one RBI, one intentional walk, one HBP.

-Corey Patterson went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts. Anybody know how many pitches he saw? Let's see, 3 strikes x 4 k's = 12, plus one other out. Minimum of 13, so I'd guess...oh...14.
-Kyle Farnsworth gave up a three run shot to Mondesi, running his ERA to 8.31.
-Jose Macias pinch-hit. It took one game for Baker to dash my hopes.
Alex Gonzalez booted a grounder.

It occurs to me:
That with Walker playing every day for Grudz, the Cubs could develop a (slightly) more balanced lefty-righty lineup that would make opposing managers' jobs more difficult:

1 Lee R
2 Walker L
3 Sosa R
4 Alou R
5 Patterson L
6 Ramirez R
7 Barrett R
8 Gonzalez R

Currently the lineup goes LLRRRRRR, and features the guy who never takes a pitch in the two hole.
Lee, with a good OBP and ability to steal the occasional base, can lead off and the Cubs still have power all the way to the sixth spot. Walker, a patient hitter who can hit behind the runner, bats second. Alou's best attribute at this point in his career is a decent batting average, so maybe he can get on for the fence-swinging Patterson and Ramirez. Barrett and Gonzalez will stink the place up no matter what you do.

Any comments?

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