I gotta disagree w/ the 'no offense from the corner outfield spots" comment. While Francoeur may be a sabermatrician's worst nightmare, the pop his bat provides us is one of the very few things the offense (and by extension, the team, since the pitching blows) has going for it.
He would have to show a lot more power to justify a .263 OBP.
I'm not pointing the finger at you necessarily, because I do the exact same thing....but when a team is 5th in the league in runs scored and 15th in ERA, shouldn't we be tossing fewer grenades at Francouer and LaRoche and few more at the pitchers (and not just the hapless bunch in the bullpen)?All of the starting pitchers have been bad to varying degrees. I even include Smoltz and Hudson here, because, though they haven't been as godawful terrible as others (Thomson, Sosa), they've both performed below their career norms and certainly have not held up their "Spahn and Sain" end of the bargain. By contrast "the pray for the rain" bit is an all-too-true reality. Ah well, wait til next year....
We can look at this one of two ways. On the one hand, you're right that the pitching has been the bigger problem. I think that Smoltz and Hudson have been fine, but not dominant. The other starters have all been bad and/or injured. John Thomson seems to have the pain tolerance of an Italian footballer. The bullpen is wretched and this fact is compounded by the fact that none of the starters except for the two good ones go deep into games, so the pen throws lots of innings.On the other hand, the offense could be a lot better. We get excellent production from hard-to-fill spots like catcher, SS, and CF. If we got average production from the three power spots - LF, RF, and 1B, then we'd be tops in the league in scoring runs and therefore more able to survive shitty pitching. Instead, we have limited production from those spots, which means that we squander some of the production from Renteria, Andruw, and McCann.
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