I must say, when I saw the pitching match-up for the weekend series, going 1-2 seemed about right. I just got the order a little screwed up. Does that mean anything?
The Yankees scored 29 runs of Red Sox pitching over the weekend. The Red Sox scored 29 runs off Yankee pitching over the weekend. Can you draw any conclusion from that? Only if you really want to, and try really hard. Which, of course, is why I’m here. Of the six starting pitchers who pitched over the weekend, only four would be expected to start in any sort of playoff series. In such a series, Pettitte, Burnett, and Sabathia would probably be the Yankees #4, #2, and #1 pitchers respectively. So, the Red Sox were able to score runs off three pitchers they’d need to face in the ALCS. For the Sox, only Beckett would get a start, as the Sox #1. The other two games don’t really mean much for the Yankees. So, the Sox did a much better job, in the long run, than the Yankees. How’s that for spin?
The reality is, that’s actually the truth. This isn’t the Sox team that will finish the season. This wasn’t the Sox rotation that will finish next week. The Sox are pretty much hoping to hold their own until the cavalry arrives. That’s really what they’re doing. They have a lead in the wild card, with Wake coming back tomorrow and Dice-K on the way. No more Smoltz and Penny blowing games left and right out of need. Suddenly the rotation of Beckett-Lester-Dice-Wake-Buchholz looks a lot stronger. Not to mention that Tazawa has shown me a lot over his starts. He doesn’t get rattled. He can work out of jams. He looks like he could help this team if given a chance.
I don’t know what to make of Beckett’s recent struggles. I know all pitchers, other than Pedro, go through blips every once in a while. But, it’s not the most comforting when the blip comes in August or September. I still assume he’ll turn it around in time for the playoffs, it’s just a little annoying.
Speaking of Smoltz…did you notice that he set a Cardinals record by striking out 7 straight batters? I know. Why can’t we get pitchers like that?
The Sox look to be close to acquiring Billy Wagner. (I don’t know how tough it may really be to get him to waive the no-trade clause) I assume this means he can actually pitch. If he’s going to need a few games to find his form, the Sox don’t have the time. If, however, he can be counted on right away to throw some quality innings, I’m all for it. I also hope he can adjust to not being a closer. That didn’t work so well the last time the Sox brought in a former elite closer to set-up. Although, the Sox did win the World Series that year.
With six games left on the homestand, the Sox really need to win both series. As long as they keep doing that, everything else should work out for the best.
They’re too good for it not to.
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