The stat line wasn't impressive, but you have to feel pretty good about Pauley's start last night. He got in and out of trouble a couple times, and had some trouble throwing strikes, but a lot of it was nerves. Even the terrible final inning could have been avoided if Loretta doesn't bobble the double-play ball, and Manny makes any kind of attempt to catch the pop fly ball. All things being equal, for a kid to make the jump from AA and pitch against a Jays lineup that is impressive even without Red Sox cannibal Vern Wells, and keep the team in the game for 5 innings - shit, I'll take that. I'd rather have Pauley on the mound instead of Clement anyday.
The big story of last night: Dougie Mirabelli gets a hit! An extra base hit, no less. Since the "big" trade, Doug Mirabelli was hitting .130 with one extra-base hit and 2 RBIs (now .167 with two XBHs!). His slugging percentage was .174. He is still striking out 25% of the time. In short, he is the just about the worst hitter in all of MLB, with only Edgardo Alfonso and maybe Rondell White keeping him from the distinction.
Josh Bard in 46 ABs in a pitchers park has 5 HRs, 15 RBIs, and is hitting .391 with a slugging pct. of .826 (that's an OPS over 1.200). What the...?
Defensively, Josh Bard with one month's prior experience with Wakefield (53 innings, mostly Timmeh) had 10 passed balls and had to be traded. In his 46 innings (of which about a dozen were not Timmeh) Dougie has 4 passed balls, in spite of two full years catching Wake. Essentially, Dougie is about 2 passed balls better. I hope those 2 PBs have saved about 3 wins so far...cuz.....ummm....yeah.
Oh, I forgot - we also gave SD a decent relief prospect in Cla Meredith, because Mirabelli was worth it. I was all for fixing the Bard defensive issue at the time of the trade, and lord knows I wasn't too high on Bard when we got him, but this is not working out too well so far. Perhaps everyone should have been more patient?
Obviously Bard cannot keep up his hitting, but Dougie needs to get nearly 2X better to prevent this from becoming a pretty lopsided deal. We have no decent young catchers in the system either, which makes it worse, given that with Dougie's fitness/fatness level he won't last long in the bigs period. I guess on the bright side Cincy has three back-up catchers, and they must be looking forward to doing another deal with us, so there's that.
Further good news! Wily Mo is out for 6-8 weeks, and will be at less than 100% for the remainder of the year if Big Papi is to believed. Ugh. That just sucks. The Craig Wilson Brigade on SOSh is already clamoring for the acquisition of the big lug, and I have to say, it makes some sense.
These are the dog days, no doubt about it. For today I am just going to ride the win.
Note: Off to New Orleans for a wedding, so if this ends up being my last post, it's been real.