Friday, May 13, 2011
By Jeff Flinn - Contributor

Thumbs Up

*Joel Pineiro continues to pitch solidly and deep into games. I trust him more than Santana at this point. Chatwood makes a lot of solid pitches in tough spots for a 21 year-old. He allowed TWELVE baserunners last night in 6 1/3 innings, but just one run. Imagine how good he could be when his command is more consistent as he matures?

*The RISP hitting continues to improve with solid performances on both Tuesday and Wednesday night. Izturis just missed having another critical hit late Wednesday, as his drive was caught just before the RF wall.
Hunter is picking it up at the plate, and that is absolutely critical to the division hopes. Callaspo continues to hit solidly and drive in runs, as has Kendrick.

*Bourjos is amazing when you see him running at full speed to leg out a triple. He cuts the bases on them as well as anyone that I've seen run the bases in 45 years of watching baseball. Aybar has FINALLY learned how to steal bases (10 for 10 so far), and that will aid the offense significantly.

Thompson NEEDS to be the setup man. He continues to routinely get batters out. Scott Downs has now  pitched eight and 2/3 innings and hasn't allowed a run.

Defensively, the Halos made zero errors in the 3 games, and is on pace for committing just 68 errors all season long. They haven't made an error in the past 7 games.

Thumbs Down

Mostly, this series' low lights were on Santana and part of the bullpen.

*Fernando Rodney continues to be anything but consistent. Isn't one of the traits that you look for in an 8th inning guy is to throw strikes? Rodney loses his delivery point as often as Tommy Lasorda eats.

*Can someone, anyone, tell me why Jepsen is pitching in the 10th inning on Wednesday? Didn't Trevor Bell pitch four shutout innings in a similar spot a week ago? Jepsen doesn't have consistent command, but he showed that in Triple-A with the Salt Lake Bees. He needs to go back to the Bees and learn how to put hitters away and improve his command.

*I'm getting VERY close to advocating Santana's option being bought out for 2013. Not only does he never, ever, have back-to-back solid seasons, he's not even consistent from start to start so far in 2011. That's not what I'd pay someone about $12 million in 2013 to do.

*Oh Torii, stop admiring hard hit outs that aren't actually home runs! You would have been thrown out on that triple on Wednesday if not for the throw hitting your back!

*Biggest low light of course is Morales being out until ST 2012. I sure hope the scar tissue removal is the last piece of the puzzle. How did this wind up WORSE & LONGER than Juan Rivera's recovery time after his surgery?

*Note to Tony Reagins. DO NOT acquire anymore Kazmir's or Wells' types. Either find a stop gap like Scott Posednik or Russell Branyan that won't require trading anyone of significance up here or on the farm, or go all out and acquire David Wright. No more of this in between stuff! And DEFINITELY no Carlos Lee types either!

*This was only the 3rd series loss so far for the Halos, but it was an UGLY ending to a terrible day!!!
Love to hear what you think!

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