Obviously, my standard goal is to split every series on the road. So, to win this series certainly is ahead of the game. But, are the Nationals the type of team that you HAVE to sweep? Are those three games you need to win in order to be a success? I really think that winning two of the three, even in DC, is a bit of a disappointment. I’m not complaining, exactly, but I wish they could have picked up yesterday’s game as well.
It’s nice to see Ortiz starting to swing the bat a little bit. I’m not quite at the point where I’m screaming that he’s back to normal. But, I’d rather have the last two weeks than the first two weeks of the season. I do think it’s interesting that the resurgence looks to have coincided with his eye drops. It’s probably as much mental as it is physical, but it may have worked.
If Brad Penny was looking to boost his trade value, having a so-so start against the Nationals might not have been the way to do it. He didn’t exactly get shelled, and the Sox ended up with the win, but I’d have liked it to have been a little cleaner than it was.
I still don’t know what I want the Sox to do as the trade deadline comes. If Dice-K’s really on the DL, I could almost see them not making a move. That would be a shame though. I hate to have so many great chips, and not use them for something. It’s not quite at the level of making a move for the sake of making a move. But, they have a chance to do something pretty fantastic here. What would I like to see? Good question. Obviously, they don’t need a starting pitcher. They could use a young catcher to take over after next season. I’m not sure Kottaras is the future plan. Pretty set at first and second I’d imagine. They could use a long-term shortstop plan, if it’s not Lowrie. Although, Lowrie would be fine with me. Lowell will need a replacement soon, so if the Rays want to deal Longoria, I’d listen. Left field is an interesting position. Will Jay Bay stay? If he’s bolting at the end of the year, this may be the time to grab a replacement. Ellsbury looks to have centerfield locked up for a while, and Drew still has right. The bullpen looks set for the near future as well. That’s it. A catcher, a shortstop, and maybe a left fielder. I want studs at those positions, and I’ll pay for it. What can you do for me Theo?
Before last night’s game, there was talk that Smoltz starting against the Nat’s was really just another rehab start. It would be tricky to tell how good he was really feeling when he dominated them. So, what exactly does it mean when he gave up five runs in five innings? Not a whole lot. I’ll cut the guy some slack for being rusty or nervous, or whatever was buzzing around his head for the first inning. He gave up some hits, and that’s fine. He pulled it together, though, and showed us a little bit of what may be to come. I’m pretty excited to see him in Baltimore.
Does Smoltz get any reaction this weekend in Atlanta? Obviously, he’s not pitching. I also don’t expect a ceremony or anything. But, do the fans give him a cheer when he shags flies during batting practice? I sure hope they show something.
Bring on the Braves!
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