Defense, defense, defense


Yesterday was ugly, certainly not the start to the season that we would have hoped for. If I had to poll you maniacs about the ugliest part of yesterday, I’d imagine the #1 answer would be something about airmailing pickoff throws and other defensive misgivings.

Let’s lay out that sixth inning.

Clay Hensley airmails a throw to first, advancing a runner from first to second

Dan Meyer airmails a throw to first, advancing a runner from first to third

Gaby Sanchez bobbles a throw at his feet

Three errors is always ugly, especially when it all comes in one inning. But there were more defensive problems.

For example, Cameron Maybin misplayed two balls pretty badly. Admittedly, the sun was involved in those misses. But on a popup in the fourth inning and the Rod Barajas double in the sixth, Maybin took poor routes to start on the ball and ended up looking awful.

Outside of the solid play from Hanley Ramirez and the diving stab on a line drive by Jorge Cantu, you can’t say anyone was all that impressive defensively yesterday. But put it in perspective. That sixth inning was enough to make any fan throw something, but what are the odds of that happening again? What are the odds that it happens consistently? The team’s defense is projected to cost us about 25 runs. Yesterday, I’d imagine it literally cost us three of those runs. It’s highly doubtful the defense will hand out chunks of runs in this fashion again.

Sure, the defense will be bad, but expect that bad to be far more spread out than it was in that sixth inning. More disconcerting to me was Josh Johnson’s ugly performance, though I’ll be getting to that later in the series recap on Friday. For now, I’d say we should all be thankful that today is an off-day and it will let us regroup and recollect our bearings as fans for Wednesday’s game. Having to watch that team go on the field today after yesterday’s debacle would have been difficult.