One thing that I failed to mention in my game recap of Game 4 was the play of Juan Pierre. He got the start in center field over Matt Kemp after Kemp had gone 5-24 with only 1 RBI in the postseason. On the whole, I thought Pierre played very well.
Batting in the #8 spot, Pierre was in a spot where he wasn't too pressured to get on base like he would hitting leadoff or #2. His first AB he singled with 1 down. He was then easily thrown out trying to steal 2nd with Derek Lowe up. I don't know if it was a failed hit and run because Lowe swung and missed or if he just got a bad jump, but it was kind of weird how much he was out by.
His 2nd AB he lined out to 3rd, but then came right back in the 6th and doubled, which came right after Casey Blake's solo homer. Too bad both Andre Ethier and Russell Martin came up empty trying to drive him in, which goes along with my "they were not clutch" theme from last night.
I know it's easy to rip on Pierre, but it was good to see him get in there and play well. Kemp pretty much played his way to the bench, so I was glad to see Joe Torre make the switch. I know Kemp has all the tools to be a great player, but he's looked overmatched in both series. It was a good move.
Now the question is if it will happen again in Game 5. The Phillies are starting their lefty stud, Cole Hamels. The regular season stats for both men vs. lefties is pretty close: Kemp - .369, Pierre - .346. Will Torre stay with the man who went 2-3 with a run scored in his only start, or go with the man who has more power potential?
To give my 2 cents, I think I would rather see Pierre in there. In 375 AB's this year, he only struck out 24 times. Kemp has struggled much more with striking out, so that's a big plus for Pierre. I would much rather see the person who puts the ball in play then someone who has 9 K's in 25 AB's this postseason.