I don't have too much to say about the game tonight besides that it was a very encouraging game. I love it when the young guys help win games for the Crew. I like seeing de la Rosa pitch, even if it is late in a close game. Though he can simply not have it sometimes, I feel like he usually gets killed by giving up walks. Yost did the right thing and had Wise up in the bullpen behind DLR; that way, DLR walks a guy and he is pulled. He has only given up one home run all season, and his stuff is simply too good to not give the guy a chance to pitch. Remember, he has to be on the team next year, too. So, the team will have to go through growing pains with him at some point.
Don't look now, but Hardy has his OPS up to .633. People shouldn't forget how terrible he was the first half, but there are some reasons to be excited. I doubt Hardy, at this stage in his career at least, is as good as he has been the past two weeks. His plate discipline is obviously a strong point. Though 6 of his 33 walks have been intentional and who knows how many others were of the unintentional-intentional variety because he's batting in front of the pitcher, his walk total has been very good. We must remember that, even batting out of the 8-hole, pitchers usually go after anyone that does not hit home runs. If he can start hitting for serious power and take pitches like he does, he will be a fine shortstop the rest of the way. I think the more HR he hits, the more walks he will draw from here on out. That will help solidify the bottom of the lineup and get the top hitters more ABs.
What does everyone else think about DLR and Hardy? Can Hardy end the year with an OPS around .700? Will he ever develop power? If DLR continues to get opportunities, do you think he can be a major player on the team next year? And, do we consider starting DLR?