-P- The Pirates lost to the Brewers today, 6-4. Maybe it's a sign of how their season has gone that I'm already looking for positives in losses like these, but what the heck - it was Ben Sheets against Tony Armas, so we shouldn't really have been expecting a win. And Adam LaRoche hit safely for the third consecutive day; that's worth being happy about.
And I'm thrilled with the Ryan Doumit situation - obviously, Doumit is not only hitting spectacularly - .441/.500/.765 - but Jim Tracy is actually taking note of that fact and getting Doumit into games. Clearly, it shouldn't take much brainpower to realize that a guy who gets two hits a game should be out there, and we'll see what happens when Doumit's batting average re-enters the atmosphere, but keep in mind that it took the Pirates over a month to begin playing Freddy Sanchez every day last year. With Doumit, it's only taken them about a week since his callup. That's progress. Of course, part of the reason why Doumit's playing so much has to do with Xavier Nady's balky hamstring, but I prefer to hope that Tracy is coming around to the idea that, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter whether or not Xavier Nady or Ronny Paulino play every day. Both are useful players, but you shouldn't get too attached to players who aren't stars. If Doumit keeps hitting like I think he can, he should continue to cut into Nady and Paulino's playing time.
If there's a whiff of defensiveness about the paragraph above, it's because I'm mildly concerned about what will happen in the coming week, assuming Nady's healthy and Paulino still only needs one day off every five or six games. Will Tracy still find playing time for Doumit? I hope and believe that he will. So little of what the Pirates have tried this year on offense has worked, so I hope they will have the good sense to continue trying one of the few things that has worked.
-P- Roger Clemens will pitch for the Yankees in 2007 and will be paid $18 million to do it. This couldn't come at a better time for the Yankees, who have already had nine starters this year. Those include Kei Igawa, Chase Wright and Jeff Karstens, all of whom have ERAs above 7.00. The Yankees' team ERA is 4.74, sixth worst in baseball. You could certainly make a compelling case that this is a desperation move by the Yankees - $18 million is a heck of a lot to pay for four months of a season of a 44-year-old, and one would think their Randy Johnson debacle would've given them pause - but if you're a Yankee fan, you've still got to love it, and even if Clemens is only two-thirds the player he was last year with Houston, he'll provide the rotation stability the Yanks need to get to the playoffs.
-P- Joe Mauer has hit the DL with a left quad strain.
-P- Jake Peavy dominated the Marlins today and struck out ten or more batters for the third consecutive game.