Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More West Coast Injuries

Dice-K worked quickly, threw strikes and kept the ball down. Next up from the west coast, pigs fly. I’m clearly only meant to see either fantastic or awful games from Dice-K. In 2008 I saw him 3-hit the A’s, in 2009 I saw him give up 5 runs in the first inning to the A’s. Last night, he looked possibly better than his 2008 self. He had fewer strike outs, but also threw fewer pitches and didn’t get to a three-ball count until the 4th inning. Tito was very excited to point out that he threw a first pitch strike to 19 of the 24 batters he faced. I did double check, the pitcher on the mound was throwing with his right hand, so there’s no way Lester slipped in and faked everybody out.

It’s a good thing he, Bard and Paps came through, since the Sox need awesome pitching performances to have any chance to win. With the exception of Beltre the bats are still on All-Star break, and according to Tito, Beltre’s hamstring is apparently killing him. Papi is weakly grounding into the shift, Youks is striking out and the outfield band-aids are coming back down to AAAA-earth. But Eric Patterson hit a triple!

The real problem with playing in the Bay Area is that the Sox can’t seem to play a game without losing a player. In San Francisco they lost Pedroia, Buchholz and Martinez on consecutive days. Last night they almost lost Bard. As he was walking through the clubhouse, Bard bumped very gently into Beltre. They both quickly apologized to each other, before Bard took a few more steps towards the kitchen, stopped, and turned back to Beltre. “Dude, I think you broke my ribs.”

If Bard isn’t available tonight, you now all know the real reason.

posted by Matt at 4:33 pm  

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Just Act Normal

It’s getting hard to come up with new explanations for the Sox’s injury woes. The latest one I’ve come up with is that Bill Hall keeps drinking Jobu’s rum. Why else would Youks now go down in a heap?

Man, it doesn’t even sound right. You have nine guys on the DL, guys that are every day pretty much players. When is the last time you heard about something like that? We better not talk about it. The more we talk about it, the more people get injured. Just leave it alone and act like it’s normal. –David Ortiz, July 6, 2010

Normal? Normal? That’s like calling Tim Curry a normal woman in Rocky Horror. There is nothing normal about this season. Drew is still healthier than Pedroia, Martinez, and Youkilis. Mike Cameron is less resilient than Rocco Baldelli. There’s a lot of luck involved in a 162 game season. But after finally clawing back to a half game back in the division while sieving players, it’s painful to lose three straight and suddenly fall 1.5 back in the wild card.

Maybe the running on fumes stuff has finally caught up with the Sox. Or maybe this has something to do with it:

Kevin Cash
Gustavo Molina
Eric Patterson
Niuman Romero
Darnell McDonald
Daniel Nava

For a team that is close to the top of almost all offensive catagories, you have six pretty terrible bench players right there…at least two of which need to start every game. Mr. Romero, for example, is a career .255 / .338 / .329 hitter, which may explain why he left the tying run on base in both the 7th and 9th inning. Oh, did I mention that those stats are his career minor league stats?

At this point, I think the Sox have to decide if they want to go for it or close up shop. If it’s the former, then you need actual backup players who can at least provide replacement level MAJOR LEAGUE stats. And if it’s the latter, then make sure people get healthy and trade Beltre for a good prospect. And for fucks sake, stop drinking Jobu’s rum.

posted by Matt at 7:44 am  

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

All-Star Disabled List

Congratulations to your 2010 All-Disabled-List team! When was the last time you heard of a team getting THREE players elected on the All Star team that are also on the DL? (I can’t even imagine how to look this up, or I would.) Of their six all-stars from the Sox (Lester, Buchholz, Pedroia, Beltre, Ortiz and Martinez) only three are healthy enough to go, and if I get my wish, Lester won’t be attending either.

How bad is it now? Well, let’s look at our catching situation. Victor Martinez goes down with a broken thumb. OK, that’ll hurt, but it’s precisely why we have Tek on the team. Two days later and Tek is hobbling around the putt-putt course and it turns out he’s got a broken foot. Crap. Well, this is why we have a farm system, right? Oh, don’t bother. BOTH of the starting AAA catchers (Mark Wagner and Dusty Brown) are currently on the DL. Instead the Sox end up with a Molina not named Bengie, Yadier or Jose, and have to trade for the privilege of Kevin Cash…who is, without exaggerating, one of the worst hitters of all time.

Buchholz, who only a few days ago looked like he may be able to miss only one start, is now also headed for the DL. Most surprising of all, of the NINE players currently vacationing on the DL, not one of them is named Drew. The Sox have so many players shuffling back and forth between the DL, it’s like a new farm team. Forget the Pawtucket shuttle, the hot new place to be is on the DL Shuttle.

I guess the fact that the Sox are still only 1.5 games back in the East and a half game ahead in the Wild Card is truly a testament not only to the All Stars, but also all of the players who have filled in. No Bill Hall, you don’t count. Swinging at a 3-0 pitch with 2nd and 3rd and two outs makes you worse than Kevin Cash. If the Sox can stay in this same position after the All Star break when hopefully Martinez and Buhholz return with Beckett not far behind, maybe we can just pull this whole thing off. Or maybe I’m just sleep deprived on a flight to China.

Oh, and congrats to Wake for win number 178 in a Sox uniform. Only 15 more to go…

posted by Matt at 12:36 am