After Luke's error in the top of the ninth allowed Vizcaino to tie the score, the second-guesser in me began composing the post that would roast Garner for failing to get Luke out for a more defensively-oriented outfielder.
But then I realized Scott was due up third in the home half, and I realized how silly Garner would have looked if the ball had gotten by Lane, say, and then Jason struck out in the bottom half.
Lane would have probably caught the ball that eluded Luke, but the Scott-Taveras-Jimerson outfield that Garner chose was probably the one with the best chance to win the game.
As we can all now plainly see.
Scott may not be the best left-fielder in town, but nothing prevents a one-run loss like the three-run homer.
As it stands right now, Doug Rader holds the team rookie record for batting average. The Red Rooster hit .333 in 1967, going 54 for 162.
Luke is almost certain to obliterate that, but what I begin to wonder is how about NL Rookie of The Year?
Luke will probably finish with around 210 at bats, which is about 2/3 of what Ryan Howard had last year. And Howard got grief--primarilly from Astros fans like myself who were engaged in championing the cause of Willy Taveras--about how he didn't play all of the 2005 season with the Phillies.
So it may seem difficult to promote Luke's candidacy without seeming like a hypocrite.
Last year, we pushed for the best season over the best player; this year we push for the best player over the best season.
So be it. I maintain the right to change my mind.
If anything, the field this year is even weaker than last year's, with no monster masher like Howard, and no standard bearer like Willy, who played 150 games and came to symbolize the spirit of his team.
Among rookies with 200 plate appearances, Scott has a 50 point lead over second place in batting average, a 72 point lead over second place in OBP, and a 74-point lead over the runner up in slugging. If I confined the field to those who qualified for the batting title, his lead in OPS over second place Josh Willingham would be nearly 300 points.
I probably wouldn't complain if Willingham or Dan Uggla won the award. Their stats are similar to what won the hardware for Bagwell, maybe a little better even. And Chris Duncan wouldn't be a terrible choice either, being a bit closer to the Howard benchmark in at bats. But given how much better Luke has been than those guys, you wonder if they would complain if a perceptive electorate gave the award to Luke.