Monday, March 31, 2008

Things that surprise me heading into April

1) Kosuke Fukudome: I know it's early, but I didn't think this guy would even hint at being legit. His three-run, game-tying home run in the bottom of the 9th inning capped off a 3-for-3 day at the plate, and not only shows he could be for real, but he's clutch, too! I'm not sold yet, but that's a nice start.

2) Washington Nationals: 2-0?! Yeah, its just two, games, but they've taken out Tim Hudson and Brett Myers! L-Millz went deep today, and the Nats are putting some runs on the board! On the other side, J-Roll and Utley are looking good to start the season. The east might be better than I thought.

3) Kansas City's bullpen: Again, it's only the first game for them, but the Royals went toe-to-toe with the Tigers and won in 11 innings. I thought it was going to be a slugfest (see: later this post), but KC's relievers only gave up a single run in five innings of work. Also surprising is that it wasn't Todd Jones who lost the game for the Tigers.

***The Braves put up a five-spot in the 9th against Pittsburgh. I wanted to add an Atlanta 0-2 record to this list, but I can't jump the gun. If they can't complete the comeback, chalk that up in the surprise column.

Things that DIDN'T surprise me today

1) Cleveland 10 White Sox 8: This year's A.L. Central is last year's A.L. East. Okay, before I go that far, let me state that I still expect the Yankees to take part in their fair share of 13-12 games, but it's dangerous to be a pitcher in the Central this year. Just ask Mark Buehrle and C.C. Sabathia.

2) Josh Willingham still owns the Mets: Johan, welcome to reality. You'll probably throw a lot of shutouts in this league, but never against the Marlins. Willingham is a beast. If he hits .250 this year with 22 home runs and 80 rbi's, I bet he hits .350 against the Mets with 18 home runs and 50 rbi's. He's a poor man's Chipper Jones, or Pat Burrell if you will.

3) Chris B. Young, 1-4, HR, 3 K's: Get used to it. He'll hit .250 this year with 162 home runs and 486 strikeouts. I might be exaggerating a little, but if Willingham is a poor man's Larry Wayne Jones, Jr., this guy can totally be a poor man's (not so poor if he hits 162 home runs) Adam Dunn.

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