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Game Hero 66 - 58

Chris Burke
  • The radical lineup maneuver pays off for Garner
  • 3 - 4, 4R, 3 RBI
  • Eight Total Bases; two doubles and a homer
  • The list of his Home Run Victims: Pedro Martinez, Glendon Rusch, and now Victor Santos
  • Nice if inelegant play on a Carlos Lee liner in the sixth,too

Dirk suggested that Burke might have the lowest OPS of any third place hitter in the majors this year, and with Burke at .617, it's hard to think of a team--except maybe the Nationals, who, remember, used Carlos Baerga at cleanup a few times--who could have bellied up anybody more anemic than Burke in the trey-spot.

It was also certainly interesting to hear Dierker's comments about Burke: that when they brought him into M2P after the 2001 draft for batting practice, Burke was having problems reaching the Crawford Boxes. Dierker glossed over the rest of it, saying, he's developed some power since then, but I'd say only some.

But either way, Burke didn't play anemic today. Rather, he looked like Morgan Ensberg, whose spot in the lineup he essentially took for today.

The play of the game may very well have occurred in the top of the first with no outs, when Chris Magruder was thrown out at second after attempting to stretch Vizcaino's one-base error into two. But a lucky carom came conveniently back to Biggio and he was able to get a throw to Everett that beat Magruder pretty easily. Hard to blame Magruder, but the flow of the game may have changed direction right there. Who knows?

I have to count myself among those who have expressed reservations about Taveras' defense, but I and the other naysayers should consider themselves somewhat chastised by the way Taveras defended Geoff Jenkins' double atop Tal's Hill. I daresay it's impossible to play a ball hit to that part of the park any more cleanly.

If Burke replaced Ensberg admirably, the same cannot be said about Jose Vizcaino, who butchered two fairly reasonable plays at the hot corner, although his good luck RBI was somewhat helpful . . . .