Thursday, September 3, 2009

You Know What They Say About an Old Penny…

Sometimes, right after you give them their release because they pitched so pathetically they come right out and throw eight shutout innings while getting the win for their new team.
OK, so it’s not a real common saying. But, it certainly applies in this case. How does Penny come out and mow down the Phillies? When Smoltz did it against the Padres and Nationals, you could at least blame the competition. But, this was the defending World Champions at home, and Penny cut through them like it was nothing. Is the NL really that bad? I know there’s always the kidding that they’re the weaker league, maybe even at the level of AAA. But, I would have been shocked if Penny was sent to Portland and tossed 8 shutout innings. What gives? How does this happen to the Sox twice?
More importantly, does Theo get to say he was right? When two pitchers he took a chance on do end up dominating, but only after he finally releases them, does that show he made the right call? Apparently they both did have something left in the tank. They both did come back from arm troubles to be a factor on a playoff contender. It just wasn’t in Boston. Maybe a half-point for each of them?
Just as important, can Theo use these examples to fleece other National League teams? Can Theo offer struggling pitchers to NL teams, and convince them they’ll be Cy Young contenders? Can he convince the Cardinals that, say, Daisuke for Pujols is a more than fair trade? Would it work for position players too?
Speaking of struggling pitchers, what going on with the ace? Beckett’s stats continue to baffle me. He gives up runs like they’re on sale, but the rest of it looks pretty good. He went six innings yesterday, giving up 4 runs. That’s not a good start for anyone, let alone a top of the rotation guy. But, if you didn’t know that and I just said, “Beckett pitched last night. Went six innings, didn’t walk anybody, gave up seven hits, and struck out nine.” You’d assume the Sox won big. That’s a heck of a performance. Pitchers with 1.17 WHIPS are league leaders. That works to 13.5 K’s/9 innings. You’d pray for that kind of dominance. Once again though, despite the supporting numbers, he gave up runs in bunches. It’s hard to say, then, that he’s doing much wrong. I can’t say he must be hurt, or he wouldn’t be striking out nine guys. He’s not wild, since he didn’t walk anybody. Is he, perhaps, suffering from being too controlled? Maybe he needs to go a little Nolan Ryan and throw the ball all over the place for a while. Players appear to know that his fastball is going to be around the plate. They aren’t punished for swinging for the fences, so they do. Maybe brush a few guys back to regain the swagger? I don’t know the answer.
He better figure it out pretty dang soon.


  1. Penny was filthy against the Phils last night . . . I wish the Sox had hung onto him!

  2. I can't feel too badly for you though. Your own Sox cast-off, Pedro, did just fine for the Phils.


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