Monday, June 22, 2009

Launch Party on the Bench

On the day Team Inchon bats for a combined 6/38 for a lousy BA of .158 with just two runs, no homers, three RBI, and a stolen base, guess what type of production is left on the bench?

Mark Reynolds & David Ortiz combined: 3/8, 3 R, 2 HR, and 4 RBI

In an apparent child-like tongue-wagging response to my decision to bench them after their lack-luster first two games of the weekend series, both Mark Reynolds and David Ortiz homered, as their replacements (Derek Lee and Nelson Cruz, respectively) managed just a single run and RBI (News Flash: Nelson Cruz still refuses to show up since his huge May).

I have to admit that I've been pretty lucky this year with regards to Bencher's Regret. But then again, for the most of the first two and a half months of this MLB season, I had perhaps the shallowest bench in the league, with the DL-stints of Vladimir Guerrero and Alex Rodriguez, and prospects Andrew McCutchen, Matt LaPorta, Lars Anderson, and David Price taking up valuable roster space.

Well, here come the pain. Even before the two-homer launch party on the bench between Reynolds and Ortiz that I wasn't invited to, I nearly lost it when Yovani Gallardo gave up a three-run bomb to Brandon Inge. My original idea was to just start Verlander and hope for the best, but the Yovi-temptation was too much for me to deny.

Ummm, I think I very much preferred it when Gallardo was up by a run and would have been very happy to have taken the Gallardo win at 1-0 as opposed to the Verlander win at 3-2.

In the end, I just couldn't bare the thought of making the wrong win-call between Gallardo and Verlander. I didn't think I would have been able to handle a good but winless outing by Verlander and see an even better performance by Gallardo on the bench. In the end, I should have stuck with my initial gut-feeling of Verlander win at home, despite the temptation and the possibility of serious Bencher's Regret.

On the flip side to all these regrets and second guesses, Alex Rodriguez's two-RBI return to the starting line-up was mildly reassuring at best, while I was thankful that my Mariners got the win without scuffing the stats of Chad Qualls - thanks to Tony Clark's inability to catch the baseball with his glove.

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