Yeah I know this area doesn't get much traffic so I'd figure I'd try and write a little something expessing my opinions of the first month of the regular season. Bucs went 12-15 during the month of April and had no shortage of great moments, as well as exasperating moments.
-Neil Walker Grand Slam Opening day to beat the Cubs
-Bucs going 4-2 on the first roadtrip of the season after only winning 17 road games all of 2010.
-Bucs getting their first home win beating the Rockies in a 5+ hour 14 inning marathon
-Winning 3 of 4 in Cincinnati. With some surprisingly strong defense, especially in the Sunday game of that series.
-Scoring 5 runs in the first inning against Livan Hernandez in beating the Nats
-Shutting out the defending World Champs and getting a shutout at Coors Field within the same week
-Allowing Paul Maholm's 6 2/3 shutout innings to go to waste giving up 5 in the 8th in the 2nd game of the year
-Seeing Maholms next start where he gave up 5 runs and the Bucs gave him minimal run support, didn't help that it was the home opener.
-Bucs "walking away" a game over the Rockies
-getting hammered 10-1 over a 2 game series with the Brewers
-getting outscored 21-5 over a 3 game series in Florida, with back-to-back shutouts
-Countless defensive mistakes (best example the 10th inning 4/26 vs SF)
-23 errors for the month, 14 of which by the 4 infield positions
It's getting better, but there's still a lot of work that needs to be done. Bullpen has been pretty good for the most part, though Meek's shoulder injury is a concern. Bucs have to play better defensively. Too many bad pickoff throws, too many bad throws. It's really bad when you have errors result in big innings for other teams, which happened way too much in the month of April alone (home opener,4/16 vs CIN, 4/28 vs SF are just a few examples) MLB teams are gonna make you pay for those mistakes. Keep those mistakes to a minimum, things will improve. Bucs could use better production at the plate from the right side of the IF. Pedro has to make better contact more often. I like his power, but I don't want him to turn into a Rob Deer/Steve Balboni type player where you get the 30 homers, but don't last long because you can't hit 200. The SS position is difficult. Ronny Cedeno makes good plays defensively, and has had a few multi-hit games, but inbetween numerous mental blunders, and 0-fers. I know the Bucs picked up Brandon Wood to light a fire under Ronny, but it's still too early to tell if that'll work. I think Clint has done a good job in his first month, but the key to showing if the Bucs have improved will be how the Bucs play in May and June. I look forward to seeing how the Bucs respond to the challenges ahead.