You shouldn’t have to rally late to avoid being swept at home when you’re playing a .500 team. The Sox better pick things up a bit for the rest of the homestand.
One brighter spot over the weekend was the starting pitching. Wakefield had a tough outing on Friday, but didn’t embarrass himself. It’s something that just happens every once in a while. Penny had another fine start on Saturday. At what point does he not get traded because the Sox actually want him in the rotation? Lester got bit a bit by the unearned runs yesterday. While I know they’re called unearned for a reason, the pitcher could do a little more to prevent them. I know Pedro always used to say that if a guy made an error it was still his fault, since he let the batter hit the ball in the first place. But, overall, if the Sox could get those three outings over and over, it wouldn’t be too bad.
The line-up needed some help. They can’t be shut down by Mariner pitching like that. I know Lowell’s hole is bigger than it might seem at first. It’s even worse when Papi takes a rest at the same time. It reminded me of the sort of thing Jimy Williams used to do. Whenever Pedro pitched, he’d rest every starter figuring they didn’t need many runs with Martinez on the mound. The problem is, he always forgot that they needed at least one run. Hopefully Francona wasn’t looking past the Mariners in the same way.
With the best bullpen in the history of mankind, how did the Sox lose two straight games late to the Mariners? What is with baseball?
Does it say anything about closers that David Aardsma, of all people, is practically an elite one this year? Just how volatile are closers anyway?
Speaking of elite players, hearty congratulations should go out to the Red Sox all-stars. Jason Bay, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield, and Jonathan Papelbon will be representing the Sox as they try to gain home field advantage in October. While I’m not sure how many of them would have made it if MLB used the selection method I proposed (check out the Bud Selig category on the right), it’s great to have a large group to watch during the game. It’s especially nice to see Tim Wakefield make a team. While I can’t say he has been snubbed in years past, he certainly deserves some national recognition for all he’s done. Over the years he has sacrificed many a personal stat for the good of the team. If Papelbon were that selfless, he wouldn’t make many all-star teams either. I wonder if Joe Mauer and Victor Martinez will draw straws to see who has to catch Wake. I bet there are a couple NL baserunners absolutely drooling at the thought. Maybe the AL should find a way to give Kottaras an honorary spot. I guess in theory, if “this time it counts” Wake shouldn’t pitch. In an important game, I can’t imagine throwing a knuckler out there to a catcher who’s never caught one…even in practice. Maybe he’ll be saved as an extra innings fallback plan. If the game’s tied after nine, Wake can pitch the next nine if needed.
First things first, though. The Sox still have two series to play before the mini-break. Hopefully they can remember that they’re not playing very good teams, and coast into the all-star break on a good long winning streak. Throwing Smoltz and Beckett is a pretty good start. Of course, I said that last week too.
Hopefully, everybody’s ready to give Nomar a much-deserved standing ovation tonight. For all he did for this team, he at least deserves that.
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