The hype around Bedard notwithstanding, this actually turned out to be a pitcher’s duel that you might not have expected. Millwood looked more comfortable, as Bedard struggled with his pitch count all night long. Ultimately though, think about this: there were only three games where Bedard threw five or fewer innings last year, and he lost all three. Tonight he could have done the same, but our offense was non-existent. Two runs on a night when we should have taken advantage of Bedard but couldn’t.
Michael Young had his three hits, and you know tomorrow’s papers will be full of how he is such a leader, trying to drag the team to victory by himself. Then, tomorrow night, he’ll go hitless, and they’ll flip-flop their position like John Kerry.
Marlon Byrd looked terrible, and after a bad spring, too. Will we regret not dumping him off to Chicago for something even halfway decent, instead of trying to rob them blind? I don’t know what was wrong with him, but he didn’t look like he would hit water if he fell out of a boat. He came up early in positions where we could have really gotten something going, and flailed away badly.
The joke of the night was Jim Joyce. First he missed Milton Bradley being hit by pitch, which may be somewhat defensible, given the angle and the catcher, but the reaction of everyone around him should have made him realize it had happened, if not he should have asked the other umpires, and at worst this is the situation that is made for television replay. It would have taken 10 seconds for someone upstairs to say “yep, he was hit, give him the base”. But he compounded his error by cussing out Milton Bradley, then arguing with Ron Washington, then storming around like he wanted to hit someone. I was cussing at the tv myself, this was one of those clear cases where he thought he would get himself some tv time, and where he thought he might provoke Milton Bradley. I don’t like Bradley’s past attitude/antics, but it was obvious Joyce was trying to push Bradley into saying or doing something. We need tv replay, but much more to the point, we need to have umpires be accountable for their actions, and in this case have the opportunity to suspend them. “He felt Milton was showing him up,” Washington said in the mlb.com report. Truth is that Jim Joyce showed himself up.
Fukumori looked like someone making his major league debut – except he has all that J-League experience. He looked like a deer in the headlights, trying to show his new team what he can do. To be fair at least one of those wild pitches was completely Laird’s fault, he should have caught it, let alone blocked it.
Hamilton looked pretty good, as did David Murphy. I don’t think it will be too long before Murphy is ahead of Byrd on the outfield depth chart.
On the other hand, Ben Broussard looked awful, swinging as badly as Byrd. Maybe it was because he was playing his old team (Wilkerson suffered the same way), but given that he was a marginal pickup anyway, he might also be in trouble. Hopefully his struggles will help Jason Botts get playing time, and hopefully that will keep Botts in the plans.
Millwood ended up with six innings and no runs, because what he gave up was unearned. This is his year, based on his career trends (every third year he is good). Hopefully this is the start of the run for him.
Now, see everything I wrote above? Discard most of it, because we’re talking one single game and very small sample sizes.
So, one game down. We get to spend the rest of the week staying up to midnight or later (not that that’s a strange occurrence for me) because of the crazy scheduling. An odd start time today, and late starts for the week. They’ve done studies in the NFL about teams crossing timezones, and some I think in baseball. How much are the Rangers hindered because they play in the Central time zones and all their division opponents play in the Pacific?