Steve Gilbert, MLB.com’s Diamondbacks beat reporter and author of the blog The Tao of Steve, posts the D’Backs lineups when he gets them. So I found out a while ago that, indeed, Eric Byrnes will be in the lineup today against the Giants at "Whatever They’re Calling It This Year" Park in San Francisco.
This will be the first time the D’Backs’ alleged everyday CF will have gotten two consecutive starts since April 14th and 15th. Go Byrnesie!
Byrnes batted 7th yesterday, but he has been pushed down to 8th today. As I commented on Steve’s blog this morning: "ah, yes, let’s bat Byrnes 8th against the Giants, a team against which he does well, especially in their park. This way, if there are two out, he’ll get walked to get to the pitcher. IBB’s and semi-IBB’s are good for the OBP, right? And good for the ego. It kind of reminds one of Ortiz and Ramirez or Bonds and Alou, doesn’t it? :+/ "
Speaking of Bonds and Alou, those two will be in the lineup, along with infamous terror of the D’Backs, Randy Winn.
Byrnesie likes playing in "Whatever They’re Calling It This Year" Park, so I hope he does well. And I hope that this is just the beginning of a long string of starts for the D’Backs alleged everyday CF. I have to say I was not thrilled to hear the Giants announcers say that he was going to "share center field" with DaVanon. That suggests something more than the accommodation of DaVanon’s early hitting hotness or the alleged fourth outfielder, who can play all three outfield positions, spelling the other three guys so that all of them stay fresh throughout the long season.
Byrnes has been criticized for the streakiness of his hitting, and the stats bear out the fact that consistency has been a problem for him. But consistency is a two-way street. He’s in a new league, where pitchers are throwing a bit differently, and he has a new set of umpires with which to work. Yet from the get-go, he hasn’t had the chance to develop a rhythm, even when he has done well. e.g. he went 3-5 Opening Day but did not get the Game Two start.
"Life is what happens while you were making other plans." –John Lennon.
That saying is on my mind today. The D’Backs came into the area for 3 games and I could only go to the one of the three Byrnesie did not start, as my work schedule was shifted less than two weeks ago to put me on all weekends. Not that I currently could have afforded tickets to all three games. The D’Backs are next in the area at the end of June/early July for interleague play against the A’s. If Byrnesie is still with them by then, let’s see if I can afford to go, even though the A’s are no longer selling third deck seats. My income is about as predictable and smooth as a well-pitched knuckleball.
The Giants are starting Matt Cain, a righty. Byrnesie got to face him and right-handed relief pitcher Kevin Correia when the Giants were in Phoenix on the 19th. Each pitcher induced an out, but also gave up a walk to Byrnesie. So he was 0-2 with 2 BBs and a run scored.
Albert Pujols has one more day in which to add to his MLB record 14 HRS in April.