Filling the shoes of Adrian Gonzalez is a tall order, but through the first 9 games of the season, we expected a little bit more production from Brad Hawpe. First off, we can start out with the defense, any balls that have to go through first feels like an adventure, holding our breaths until the out is called by the umpire.
But we didn’t bring Brad over to be a gold glover, he was supposed to be our hitter in the middle of the lineup to drive in runs and add pop to the lineup. He has done nothing but lead the team in strikeouts and has just driven in one run. Even pitcher Clayton Richard has driven in more runs (2) than our first baseman!! I would say that the pitchers are pitching around him, but he has only walked once. The pitchers are licking their chops to get to his spot in the lineup (not just his spot) to pad their stats with a strikeout.
Hawpe, you need to take some pressure off of yourself and start batting like Ryan Ludwick (.107 batting avg)…. UGH!! This lineup has to get production from the middle of the lineup! We knew it would be an issue when Adrian was traded and right now nobody is stepping up to the plate. Our pitchers are putting in work to keep games close. We have been aggressive on offense by stealing bases and taking the extra base, but nobody can come up with a clutch hit.
I was ready to put all Hawpe’s troubles in the past IF he was just able to drive in Orlando Hudson in from second base at the bottom of the ninth last night, BUT that of course didn’t happen. I should be impressed that he was able to make contact with the ball on that at bat and didn’t strikeout. I am ready to see Jorge Cantu get more time at first base! At least he was able to battle with the pitcher and he looks much more comfortable at the plate.
Hawpe, you are dead to me right now… Dudwick, you are not far behind! (of course I have a short memory and RBIs help put things in the past)