With MLB having the game on free, I had a chance to see the Buccos for the first time this year. While one game does not represent a true sample, some personal observations:
1) Yea, we will not more than 70 games (if all goes well). The team has alot less talent than teams like the Phillies. To me when you compare our starters vs. their starters, they have much more talent. Of course they have won a WS and played in one last year.
2) Raynor got a lesson from Rollins when Rollins tagged up and took 2nd on the long fly to center. Raynor had no clue that Rollins would try to tag up. If Raynor is smart, he has learned this lesson and play each ball with more concentration.
3) The Phillies get a leadoff double, move the guy to 3rd, and then Victorino gets an RBI single. We get the bases loaded with no outs, a guy gets a hit but we end up with 1 run and 2 outs. That is why they have won a championship and we have not got to .500.
4) Maholm did OK but he was no match for the Phillie hitters. You never felt he could get a K when he needed it. Also the Phillies hitters never looked fooled. I kept cringing every time Maholm pitched to Howard. All I could see is a towering HR to right.
5) McCutchen will steal a bunch of bases but he is not a premier base stealer. He got thrown out at 2nd (he might have been safe) when he should have made it standing up.
6) We won't get any calls. Garrett Jones got called out a 1st when he was safe on a close play. We can expect this all year until we show we can win.
7) I prefer McCutchen hitting leadoff than batting 2nd. Iwamura will do better moving McCutchen along. Iwamura is much more disciplined hitter and handles the bat better.
8) I like our guys taking more pitches and being more patient. We got alot of deep counts. We rarely got this with Wilson/Sanchez/Bay. They seemed to always swing at everything thrown up there.
9) d'Arnaud might be an option next year at short. I doubt if he will hit well, but I think he can field better than Cedeno or Crosby.
10) Pearce does not impress me much. While he did not seem to be intimidated by ML pitching, he did not impress me that he could consistently hit it for average or power. Clement looked to me to be the better choice. Plus Pearce's play at 1B was none too good. He got pulled off the bag twice in the same inning.
11) Garrett Jones can't hit lefties too well. They pitched him inside and he had trouble.
12) Donnelly was quite animated out there. I loved it!