Ugh, I am suddenly totally buried in work, so this will need to be a brief update. Tuesday, September 2, went well overall. I ended today with a 9-1 advantage, losing only in runs. Here are my thoughts for tonight:
1. Thanks to 3-run contributions from each of A. Rodriguez and H. Ramirez today, I am now behind 13-17 in runs. Not very happy about this because I consider runs to be a more difficult category to catch up in compared to others. My sense is that teams rarely come from behind to win in runs in H2H. A four-run gap is not huge, of course, and there is plenty of time to catch up. But this will be a category that I will continue to worry about.
2. My lead in saves is up to 4-0. I do not think that my opponent's Jenks and F. Cordero will be able to keep pace with my seven (somewhat unreliable) closers. By the way, F. Francisco has been pitching fairly solidly since his promotion. Granted it was against Seattle, but 3 Ks to close out the game is still quite nice.
3. I used Casilla as my MI today and got back 1-4 and 1 run. With B. Wood gaining SS eligibility after tonight, I now have an interesting choice to make for the next few days. Should I go with Casilla, who is boring, but will hit for a decent average and add to my counting stats semi-predictably? Or should I go with B. Wood and the promise of his upside? If we were still in June, the answer to me would be easy; I would go with B. Wood and see what develops. But being in the middle of playoffs, I can see an argument for taking the safer approach, especially considering that I likely will not need Casilla to outperform expectations to win, but could lose if I get nothing from a batting spot.
- The fact that B. Wood is hitting 8th in the order makes a difference to me if Casilla will regularly hit second in the order. More at bats = more opportunity to add to my counting stats.
- During the initial call-up, B. Wood struck out 21 times in 64 at bats and never had a multi-hit game. Since being called up for second time, B. Wood has struck out 4 times in 18 at bats and has had 2 multi-hit games. Ridiculously small sample sizes, I know, but there is beginning to be evidence of improvement at the plate. I would not count on B. Wood to hit for any decent average, but it is important to gauge whether he is still completely overmatched or not.
- E. Patterson, C. Izturis, Bonifacio, Bartlett and Arias all are available alternatives to plug in at MI. Why do I mention this bunch? Because they are all likely to out-steal Casilla in any week. If I start to fall behind in steals, you can expect to hear me think more about turning to one of these guys. Steals is not a category where you can plan to catch up in late in any H2H matchup.
Umm, doh, back to work.