Monday, May 12, 2008

Lineup Manipulations

While the sweep of the Diamondbacks was achieved seven months later than what would have been ideal, it is a welcome sight given how this team has been playing of late. What really makes the win yesterday even better was the ability to get it and save Carlos Zambrano for the Padres series. The Padres looks ready for burial.

A couple of interesting notes from yesterday. First, Lou Piniella was pretty clear that Sean Gallagher would get a second straight start this coming weekend. That means that someone is exiting the rotation. The obvious guess would have to be that Jon Lieber will go conduct further experiments on baseballs defying the law of gravity.

But the most interesting move was in the 8th inning. Needing a pinch hitter for Carlos Marmol, Lou was all set to send Daryle Ward to the plate. But NL Starting All-Star Catcher Geovany Soto grounded out mving Kosuke Fukudome up to second. With first base open, Ward would have been intentionally walked. This meant either leaving in Felix Pie to hit with the bases loaded or to pinch hit Alfonso Soriano.

Lou pulled Ward back and pinch hit A Sor for Marmol. A Sor somehow managed to lay off four balls two feet off the plate. Ward then hit for Pie and victory was in hand.

What's so interesting about the move is that Lou would rather have Ward up at the plate with the game ont he line over Soriano.

Smart. Very smart.

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