Want the good news? Matsuzaka pitched a great game yesterday. Well, maybe it wasn’t a great game. But, the numbers looked fine when he was done. Yes, the five walks are maddening. I’ve gone over and over what I think of Daisuke’s performances. But, only giving up one run in six innings? I’ll take that every time. The bullpen is supposed to be able to take it from there. More often than not, the bullpen will. Lately? It just hasn’t.
More good news? Victor Martinez is on his way back to the line-up. They couldn’t wait much longer. Anytime you’re missing your #3 hitter, the offense is going to suffer. Even more good news? Jacoby Ellsbury is heading for a rehab assignment. They’re coming. They’re really coming.
So, what happens now? The Sox find themselves at an interesting point in the season. The trading deadline is less than a week away. The Sox are finally getting the players back that they expected to have all along. The standard comment is that the Sox are adding an MVP second baseman, an all-star catcher, and two all-star pitchers to the team at the deadline. Nobody else is adding that kind of talent. Is that enough? Apparently not.
The Sox need an arm in the bullpen. It’s that simple, and that complicated at the same time. Middle relievers are the most inconsistent breed of players I’ve ever seen. The obvious option is to nab another team’s closer. But, the teams with lights-out closers need them. Teams with mediocre closers want too much for them. Plus, there’s always the Gagne factor. Will an elite closer handle the switch to not closing? Billy Wagner did a fantastic job of that last season. But, he was coming off an injury, and was a slightly different case. So, other closers are probably off.
Another team’s middle reliever? That’s all that’s left. How do you find one of those? I have no idea. I’m glad it’s not my job. But, the Sox need at least one more solid arm in the pen. Last year, it was Bard-Wagner-Papelbon to victory. This year, that third guy is missing.
Who’s out there?
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