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Bad luck and a bad decision

Don't get worried about the huge number of baserunners stranded by the Rays last night. Stuff like that evens out over the course of the season. They will still strand plenty of baserunners but that's because of crappy hitting in general, not strikeouts or the lack of some mystical ability to get timely hits or productive outs.

It's not the bad decision I alluded to in the title, but it was pretty stupid that Chris Singleton was apparently our primary LH pinch-hitter last night with Lee still on the bench. I don't think it really mattered much though, I strongly suspect that the pinch-hit was less about doing something to score runs and more about having an excuse to put Charles Johnson in the game.

The bad decision was sending Joey Gathright to Durham today with Alex Sanchez coming back from his milkshake suspension. Lou Piniella says he wasn't entirely happy with his defense out there. Ignoring the fact that Sanchez SUCKS in center field, what exactly was wrong with Gathright's defense out there? A couple throws that he overthrew and misplaying a bounce that I have NEVER seen a ball falling at that trajectory take when it hit the outfield turf? What about all the ground he covered, including making that diving catch in the left field gap when he was shaded to right-center field when the ball was hit? I've been very skeptical about Gathright's hitting but I was surprisingly impressed with his approach at the plate, it was much better than I expected. Sure, he might falter as time goes on but considering that Sanchez is an offensive hole in the lineup why not leave Gathright in to see what he can do in an extended trial? It would be neglectful of me to not also mention that Gathright is an eager player willing to listen and do whatever they want him to while Sanchez is a known malcontent.

Don't make the mistake of only blaming Chuck Lamar for this move. If Lou Piniella said "I want Gathright to stay," then he would stay. Both of them share responsbility for this pointless and possibly harmful move.

Meanwhile, we get to look forward to the dynamic dung duo of Sanchez and Singleton.