Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
The two games I watched yesterday demonstrated why I love baseball...and why it drives me nuts.
I was expecting the Reds to lose yesterday, with Lohse on the mound. But Lohse looked like a Cy Young winner. Former Yankee Ted Lilly looked even better. He gave up fewer hits than Lohse, but the hapless Cubs were unable to turns hits into runs.
Weathers was the closer, and he did not inspire confidence. He struggled from the start. But somehow, he got out of the inning and the game with the one-run lead intact. The Reds got only two hits in the entire game, but won anyway, 1-0.
Meanwhile, the Yankees put both Moose and Pavano on the DL. Their starting pitching is in shambles. After two games in a row that went to extra innings, their relief pitching is in shambles, too.
The rubber game against the A's started off poorly, with a Jeter error and two runs scored off Pettitte. But Andy settled down. The Yanks seemed to be cruising to another victory, up 4-2 going into the bottom of the 9th. With Mo on the mound, victory seemed like a sure thing. In the Yankees threads, fans were already mocking the Oakland fans.
Even when Mo allowed two runners on, no one was worried. Two outs, with the number nine hitter up. Scutaro was hitting something like .050. He was looking up at David Ross' average. And it was Mo. Number 42, on Jackie Robinson Day.
Of course, you know how it ended. Mo gave up a three-run walkoff homer to Scutaro.
Like a punch in the gut to a Yankees fan. The kind of game that makes you want to give up baseball and become a curling fan or something.
But I have to say, games like that are also a big reason I love baseball. Because even the number 9 hitter, batting .050, can be the hero.
I'm not worried about Mo. He usually struggles with his control early in the season (perhaps because he no longer throws during the off-season). He'll be fine, I'm sure.
More worrisome is Jeter. He had his sixth error of the season yesterday. Which puts him on pace for about 90. I don't know if he's hurt or what. It's not the limited range that fans often gripe about. He's just missing balls he should catch, and making bad throws.
The Reds are on top of their division, and but it somehow seems very precarious. In particular, their offense against left-handed pitching is lacking. Many of their right-handed bats (Ross, Freel, Encarnacion, Phillips) are struggling.
And many of their star prospects, like Votto and Bruce, are lefties. Not ideal, given that they play in a park that is supposed to be better for righty hitters.
The Yankees love lefties, but with the Reds, I fear Bubba's left-handedness is a liability.
The Bats play Richmond tonight at 7:15pm. According to the lineup, Bubba is once again in the two-hole and playing right field.
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