Monday, August 31, 2009

Try to Sweep Up Before You Go

Quite a weekend for the Red Sox. Pitching was good to great, and the offense showed up when it was needed. When those two things happen, good things happen for the team.
I’m going to steer clear of Josh Beckett for a little. I have no earthly idea what to make of his last few outings. It reminds me of school, when teachers would pick one specific thing to grade a report on. This time, spelling is important. Next time it’s punctuation. That’s what Becket is up to. On time, try to limit walks. Next time, limit home runs. The rest of the outing can blow out of the water. I assume one of these times he’ll get back to limiting runs. Clay Buchholz, on the other hand, was masterful. Once again, he showed a flash of what the Red Sox think he can be. Every few starts he puts it all together and everyone yells, “There! That’s why we didn’t trade him for Halladay!” Frankly, it’s the same sort of thing Jon Lester went through as he found his way. Lester’s a little younger though, so it’s not so bad.
Yesterday, the Sox once again went to a veteran player signed in the hope that he could show his old form. The Smoltz and Penny experiments went so woefully, I didn’t have real high hopes for Paul Byrd. Byrd showed, however, that if you throw enough stuff at a wall, eventually some of it will stick. Wearing number 36, Byrd went out there and outpitched Roy Halladay. I can’t imagine asking more out of a spot starter.
Hopefully the spot starter gigs can stop soon since Daisuke Matsuzaka is on his way back to the rotation. What does it mean to give up 5 run in 2 innings during a AA rehab start? I have no idea. He’ll probably say he was working on conditioning, or mechanics, or something. That the score doesn’t matter. All that matters is that he didn’t have a setback. It’s really just spring training for him. He’s probably right. It just doesn’t look very good.
With Dice looking iffy, and Wakefield apparently having trouble getting out of bed, I have to wonder why the Sox didn’t put a claim in for Scott Kazmir. Of the Byrd/Tazawa/Kazmir option, isn’t he the way to go? I know he’s expensive, but that hasn’t stopped the Sox lately. Is he more than what they’ve given to Smoltz, Penny, Byrd, etc this season? Does he make the starting rotation a little crowded next year? Maybe. I assume the Sox have had a chat with Tim Wakefield to see exactly what the future holds for him. I think I’d feel more comfortable with Kazmir in the rotation that Buchholz next season. I don’t know. I could probably come up with a handful of reasons why they shouldn’t have claimed him. I could probably come up with a handful of reasons why they should have. It just seemed like the sort of thing that would have helped…and he wouldn’t have gone to the Angels. At least the Rays got rid of him just before the Sox go down to Tampa. Does this meant the Rays have given up on this season? Does this make the Sox remaining games against them a little easier?
I guess we’ll see.

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