It's been a hell of a week (okay, six days, but I won't get a chance to write tomorrow): a blowout, a couple missed chances, a blown game, and players going hither and yon.
Where we stand
18-12, second in the NL Central, half a game behind St. Louis — It's only half a game, but not altogether encouraging. It'll be nice to not be playing division opponents in a couple of weeks.
The offense we saw in the second series against Pittsburgh is starting to show up again, ensuring that games are won (and won early). A little more consistency would be preferable, instead of 19 runs one game and three in each of the following two.
Not much improvement, but certainly not much slowdown; most of the runs scored against this week were more a result of good, solid hits than fielding errors or fielders being out of position.
Yes, we're going to hang most of the week's mishaps on the pitching staff. From Kerry Wood (2-1, 5.14 ERA, blown save) blowing a three-run lead again, to Chad Fox coming back up to the team and hanging a ball out there for a walk-off home run in the 11th, to the entire staff's lackluster performance in Tuesday's 10-7 loss to Milwaukee, it's been a pretty horrid showing.
Even in the wins, the pitching could have been a fair bit tighter (Dempster vs. MIL Wednesday--6.0 IP, 3ER, 5 BB, 1K; Lilly @ STL Saturday--7.0 IP, 3ER, 1 BB, 4K, 2 HR).
Rich Hill (1-0, 4.12 ERA)
A start this horrible was only a matter of time, and Lou put it best after the game: "Every time he pitches, it's an adventure...I don't know what the solution is, but I can't start him any more until this thing gets taken care of." It could have been much worse, and thankfully the move to get the bullpen going was made early, before the damage was done--but that one run might have made a difference in the end.
His bat is as cold as ever after returning from the DL. In three games, he's 2-for-14 with one walk and three strikeouts. Defensively, he's done okay so far, but he's gonna have to be careful with positioning himself in the outfield; no more picking Pie's nose during an at-bat.
That's it for this week; there wasn't really too much to work with, all told.