Monday, September 14, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Or, actually, maybe it should stick around for a bit. The rain may have been annoying, especially for the fans, but it would be hard to argue with the results.
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Saturday’s game. I think the officials were a bit gun shy about playing in the rain after what happened on Friday. Friday night, they started the game on time. I can only assume they expected it to be dry, or at least playable, for quite some time. The rains came in, though, before the top of the first was even over. Whatever clouds they thought might pass obviously didn’t. They sure as heck didn’t want to make the same mistake twice in a row. So, Saturday’s game was delayed due to the forecast of rain in the area. Naturally, this time it never came. So, everyone sat around for two hours high and dry before they finally decided to start it. Wouldn’t you know it, it started to rain around 10:30. If they had started the game on time, there’s a good chance it would have been over. But, with the delay, it was touch and go as to whether it would even be official. Thankfully, they just squeaked in the minimum number of innings, so it ended up being a good day.
Once again this proves, that when it comes to the rain, the Red Sox can’t win. Friday they try to play. They start the game on time, and hope for the best. They lose out. Naturally, everyone complains. How could they start it if they knew rain was coming? If it was going to be rained out, why not call it before it starts so fans wouldn’t have to make the trip in? So, the opposite happens the very next night. There’s a chance of rain, so they delay it. I sat there for two hours with my scorebook at the ready. (You know it wasn’t raining if I had my scorebook out in the elements) Is everyone happy? Of course not. How could they delay it if there’s no rain? They just wanted the fans waiting around so they could sell more beer. It’s a lose-lose for the Sox. I think it’s probably time to call off the conspiracy theories. They’re doing the best they can with the best information they can. Sometimes, as you may have noticed, the weathermen aren’t 100% accurate. That’s the way it goes.
Lost in the rain may have been the best pitching weekend for the Sox in a while. If there were doubts about the rotation going into a playoff series, this weekend was certainly a good sign. Right now, Beckett-Lester-Buchholz look to be the first three starters in a potential series. How’d they do this weekend? 20 innings, 2 earned runs. Two wins, one complete game. (Yeah, I know) Could they have done any better? Beckett fought through the distractions on Saturday to throw the best he’s thrown in a while. Is this Beckett rounding into postseason form under the September pressures? Wouldn’t that be nice? Buchholz had yet another great outing against a great opposing starter. The fact that he seems to amp up when he’s facing another quality arm bodes well for the playoffs. Good chance of facing another top starter there. As for Lester, he’s been great for a while now. This is just another example of it. I wonder if Francona has considered having him throw an inning two days before every start?
Another great item from Saturday. The Sox beat up on a pitcher they’ve never seen before. In fact, only one team had. Usually, those are the no-name pitchers who give the Sox fits. To see them run him right out of town was encouraging.
Most teams would have a problem with a double header since it would be hard for their closer to go both games if needed. This is how sick the Red Sox bullpen is. Papelbon goes in game 1. In game 2? They’re forced to settle for Billy Wagner. (I know it wasn’t a save situation at that point…but I bet it was the plan all along) What other team has that as a second option. Wager wasn’t perfect, but he struck out two when it mattered the most. It’s just unfair.
What will Dice-K show us?

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