Just two games in to the season, Andy LaRoche is on the bench tonight in favor of Ramon Vazquez. You know, normally I think this is the sort of thing that would upset me, but screw it. If Andy LaRoche is so emotionally fragile that he can’t handle the pressure of the big leagues, we’re going to have to find some other plan at third base. After a great spring, he’s completely disintegrated in front of our eyes in the first two games of the season. It’s like he’s an entirely different player. He’s not just a deer in the headlights when the games start counting, he’s freaking Bambi out there. I’m not giving up on him, but jeez, it’s really hard to fault Russell for giving him a night off, even this early in the year.
Anyways, Zach Duke and Todd Wellemeyer take the mound tonight at 8:15. The story’s the same for Duke and Maholm; he’s got to get through six or seven innings to give the Pirates any chance in this one. Given little LaRoche’s Dr. Strangeglove impression the last two nights, he’s probably happy to see anyone else on third base tonight since bad defense is one of his main downfalls. Even if it’s ultimately meaningless in the long-run, I’d love to see the Pirates rebound from last night’s disaster with some kind of life. Even if it’s only to get above .500 for one more day.