I am not ready for any sort of automated strike zone although I thought the zone of Alfonso Marquez, whom I consider a good umpire, seemed to vary later in the game. I perceived no home-team favoritism. The Brewers also walked seven.
Counsell is one of the best, notably at handling a pitching staff. The Brewers' payroll traditionally is lower than other top teams in the National League and he gets the most out of what he has.
I can understand the angst of fans who are frustrated when one of their former players comes back to haunt them. In this case, I do not think Wong is really any better than Edman, both of whom are good players at the same position.
I do find it odd that many teams are hovering around .500. Some of this has to do with the shortened spring in which the pitchers did not get stretched out to the point that they will. When that happens, you will see some separation. Part has to do with scheduling, too. For instance, Houston, which is one of those .500-ish teams, hasn't had any home games yet and the Astros are very good at home.
There still will be pitcher use and lineup questions but, offensive strategy, as we used to know it, largely is gone.
I believe we have had a considerable rundown of Pujols' career statistics but as he approaches milestones besides 700 home runs, they surely will be revisited.
Despite his low average--Paul Goldschmidt also is very low--DeJong has shown me more patience in his approach, as witness a key walk he worked yesterday in a good eighth inning for the Cardinals. He still is the everyday shortstop for me but I think it's fair to play Edmundo Sosa once in a while. He was two for five in the game that he played.
Albert will have a statue but I don't see it as being next to Musial's imposing one. One player was here for 22 years, the other for 12. Four hundred at-bats might be a reach but I can see Pujols getting between 300 and 350, which might be enough for him to approach 700 homers. He still will have to be more productive against right-handed pitching to merit those at-bats. He has shown he can wallop left-handers, as he did last season with the two Los Angeles teams.
It happens every season as teams look for that great meld of pitching, offense and defense. The good teams will find that mix. It is early yet. We should reserve this question for several weeks into the season when teams have played more games to get a reading.
I am a bit curious why Jake Woodford hasn't been used more. I am presuming he will be the first "long" man out of the bullpen now that Jordan Hicks will be starting.
Albert certainly seems rejuvenated now that he has come back "home." It might be too premature to speculate that he will be like this all year but he has shown enough to be an important part of the lineup. The DH spot is his full-time if he can show productivity against right-handed pitchers.
Edman certainly is outperforming Carlson now, so you might see an occasional change at the leadoff spot, notably against left-handed starters, of which there aren't many, however. One of Oliver Marmol's missions is to find some time for Nootbaar in the field. Other than pinch running, he has appeared in only one game and that as the DH. Sosa will get his chance but I wouldn't say it would be a whole week's worth yet.
Hudson won 16 games in 2019 when he was the staff leader in wins for a division champion team. He isn't sharp now, for sure, but he has had only three starts in the past two seasons. This will bear some watching but I'm not ready to pull this plug
I suspect there will be an uptick in crowds for September, which can be a rough month for attendance if your team isn't contending.
Not many players have an unlimited green light anymore because managers are afraid to give up the out, even though the runner might be an 80 % base stealer.