Wells’ start tonight is very important. They need him to be back–he said he was ok on July 31, but the results sure did not show. I’ll give him another chance or two to show his stuff. We need a stable No. 4 guy before we can talk No. 5. UPDATE: he looks very good so far for two innings–economical and has good command.
Beckett still needs to learn how to PITCH not THROW the ball. I saw his pitches, their selection and location in the Cleveland game and it was a rookie playing toss. It’s up to Lopez and Beckett to realize, esp. Beckett, that you cannot just throw the ball by the batter, at least not in American League lineups.
Let’s go Sox! Yankees lost today to the O’s, so let’s get back to tie for first.
Quiz of Day (no peeking at stats!): Rank the following Sox pitchers’ World Series ERA in order, from lowest to highest: 1) Roger Clemens 2) Pedro Martinez 3) Babe Ruth 4) Smokey Joe Wood 5) Cy Young (answers in next entry)
Another walk off win, this time by the man hitting in front of Papi. Loretta has been the guy made for No. 2 hole, and tonight he showed it again with a key line drive to the wall. Congrats man!
Lester did well esp. after that rough first innings. Six innings give him a quality start, although no win but still kept the Sox in for a rally.
Timlin bothers me a bit. He seems to have lost him stuff and looks very hittable in July. The double and homer he gave up were hard hits and well-hit. So, is his age beginning to show, or does he need to get rest or should he readjust his mechanics and style?
Lowell too is having a bad couple of weeks. His average is dropping, and he needs to go back to No. 7 hole. Who should be No. 5? I’d give Wily Mo a shot or maybe Gonzo. We really lack a true No. 5 hitter with Tek struggling and out.
Well, it seems many rumours about Cleveland throwing the game. Who knows? It looks like such with Carmona striking out two and then hitting two. I just think Carmona is just too young for the spotlight.
All the wellness to the Quickenton family and the health of their baby.
Bad news. Tek is injured. The loss will be a lot, he’s key to the whole pitching staff. We’ll see how this team combats this adversity. The Yankees sure did fine, time to see what we have got.
Predictions for the divisions and wild card winners, considering the trades on paper:
1. New York – The trades will put them on top again, but it will be close and boil down to their pitching.
2. Boston (WC) – Not making a trade will put a lot of pressure on the kids, and gaping holes in rotation/bullpen.
3. Toronto – The lineup is a killer, but back end of rotation and bullpen will be their shortcoming.
4. Tampa Bay – Maddon’s kids might make waves by winning over 70 games, maybe…
5. Baltimore – It won’t get more wOeful for them.
1. Detroit – They are for real, fired up by Leyland and the young pitching will get them on top.
2. Minnesota – Santana and Liriano are lethal, but how ’bout the rest of them and the lineup that can punch and whimper?
3. Chicago – Pitching woes are too many for a homer happy and dirty mouthy South Side.
4. Cleveland – Disappointing year for a hopeful tribe of youngsters.
5. Kansas City – Decade rebuilding may be in the works. If it isn’t already.
1. Oakland – Wild wild one out west but their pitching will edge out.
2. Los Angeles – Close one but rotation problems, defence will lose them out.
3. Texas – Too many trades, too little pitching.
4. Seattle – An improvement over last, but still can’t get over hump.
1. New York – Chipper’s tears.
2. Florida – Joe Giraldi’s young sappy boys will shock and be the feel good story of the year.
3. Atlanta – More frustration and ejections from Bobby Cox.
4. Philadelphia – Rebuilding and unloading contracts all over.
5. Washington – Keeping Soriano?
1. St. Louis – All Hail Mighty Pujols.
2. Cincinnati (WC)- A Small Red Machine arises and bring them back to the playoffs for once.
3. Houston – A $106 million mistake, maybe $95 if Clemens is unloaded.
4. Milwaukee – Some winning seasons may be brewing.
5. Chicago – Bring the Cards back to Wrigley all season and maybe 2003 deja vu.
6. Pittburg – Thanks for hosting the All Star Game, for us it counts.
1. San Diego – Standing pat and the pitching will give them another finish, maybe a few above .500.
2. Los Angeles – Grady will have too many brain freezes, and there’s no Pedro-like pitcher.
3. Arizona – Too old and too young, and too stuck in the middle of it all.
4. San Francisco – Will Bonds be public enemy No. 1 in his own ballpark? If his average holds up.
5. Colorado – A few high peaks in first, but enjoy Coors delight in September.
So the trade deadline passed, and now it’s August. There are 58 games left in the schedule with the Sox holding to a slim one game lead over the Yankees. It will be an exciting month of August to watch.
STARTING PITCHING: This aspect of the team will either make or break the season. The front is strong with Schilling and Beckett. Lester is still very impressive, although we’ll see how he endures a pennant race. Wakefield needs to get healthy to fill the No. 3/4 hole, and all the best wishes to him. The 5th starter is the question all season long. Wells looks old, Clement is done, and Snyder really hasn’t lasted more than 5 innings. That is the Sox’s biggest need still unaddressed and we’ll see how the waiver month pans out. Will the Sox be able to get Clemens? That is still interesting and up to grabs.
RELIEF PITCHING: Papelbon brings a comforting anchor to the bullpen and is certainly a blessing this year. The following months will be big and let’s see how Papelbon survive the fire. Timlin is still good and a reliable setup for Papelbon. It gets murky beyond that. The youth movement definitely has given good products in Delcarmen and Hansen. The kids cannot shoulder all the responsbility. The veterans nonetheless are horrible, with Tavarez and Seanez walking on fire. I’m surprised Theo didn’t tinker the bullpen, but the Sox do have options for the stretch.
OFFENCE: The lineup is still scary although not like the previous years. It has good balance with Youk getting on base, Loretta good in the 2-hole and Ortiz/Manny doing their thing. The back end is still a question. Trot is hurt and looks like on decline, Varitek looks old, and Coco has had a disappointing first season. Lowell is bouncing back well and Gonzalez is a marvel. The lineup just needs to be more consistent and have better tweaking esp. in No. 5 hole.
DEFENCE: The defence has really made a difference this year. The infield is perhaps the best in baseball and the outfield is a boon too with Coco’s range and Manny being Manny still. The team leads majors with fielding and it has saved many games for the Sox. This part can be a major difference down the stretch in the races.
BENCH: The bench has a few quality players. Wily Mo will be less a bench player and more a regular to complement Trot, and he has done a great job offensively. Kapler gives an additional defensive replacement. The infield has Cora, a very good subtitute in the infield when others need rest and speed. Mirabelli, although can’t hit anymore, is filling in well and needs to have a bigger role with Varitek hurting. The bench can still be enhanced with maybe another infielder and a hitter who can hit lefties.
How is the outlook for the rest of the season? The Blue Jays we know are not winning the division, and will finish 2nd at best for all their pitching problems. The Yankees are now the faves to win the division with the additions of Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle. It won’t give them a big advantage because the pennant race will boil down to pitching and winning games with defence, which the Sox are not much lacking. It will be interesting stretch but to win the East, which is of course possible, the Sox need to start winning games with pitching, and winning all games they need to win (TB, Royals, O’s) and can’t depend on Ortiz to deliver a walk-off each time.
Hi guys. I’m posting here first time, and probably just for the month of August. I’ll keep it about the Red Sox, with some history and tributes here and there, and relevant observations about happenings in the rest of baseball. Feel free to comment and add your thoughts. Yankee fans welcome too, so long all of you behave, and refrain from curses.
Look forward to exciting August!