Thursday, April 4, 2013

Well, This Has been Fun

Two Games. Two Red Sox wins. Two Yankee losses.

Does it get better than that?

Clearly, it’s only two games, so making long-range extrapolations is ridiculous. I’m not ready to declare Lester and Buchholz Cy Young winners quite yet. But, I’d rather they did what they did than what the Yankees starters did. That’s good enough for me.

I’m also pretty sure that Jose Iglesias is not winning the batting title this season. But, if you’re forced to play a light-hitting rookie in order to fill in for an injury, it’s nicer when he helps out with a bunch of hits. It also allows the Sox to be a little bit more cautious with Drew. If there’s anything you don’t want to play “through” if you don’t have to, it’s a concussion. This gives the Sox a two-game cushion before people start clamoring for Drew to get back in there. If Iglesias is 0-9 with 7 K’s at this point, Drew is probably on a slightly faster track. It’s really nice to have that extra time to make sure he’s right.

What about the phenom? Jackie Bradley Jr has done his thing so far. Again, still not ready to call him Willie Mays. But, I was impressed with his first at bat. Remember that one? Major league debut, Opening Day, Yankee Stadium, CC on the mound, two runners on. He knows the situation. Half the fan base is expecting him to walk on water. The other half is pretty sure he should be in AAA. Was there ever a better time to prove everyone wrong? Was there ever a better time to be aggressive? To go outside yourself to make something happen? Take that big cut, and put three runs on the board. Make a splash. But, he didn’t do that. He got down 0-2, and took a close pitch for a ball. He didn’t flail at the pitch trying to make an immediate impact. He took it. And, then he did it again. He worked the walk. Some people are trying to say it ignited the rally, and caused the win. I’m not ready to go that far. But, if you’re looking for an example of a kids maturity in a big spot, that’s a pretty telling one. Even if he should be in AAA.

We’ve also gotten a glimpse of how the bullpen could work. Again, it’s only two games. But, I said before that I wondered if the plan was to have the bullpen cover for poor starters. That’s exactly what happened on Monday. Lester had a short outing. It was more because it was April than because of ineffectiveness, but still. They needed the pen to go four innings, and that’s exactly what they did. Is that going to be the game plan from here on out? I don’t see why not. Sure, it would be better if the starters could go seven, like Buchholz did last night. But, maybe they don’t need to. Maybe Miller-Tazawa-Bailey-Hanrahan can be the second half of games. That could be a powerful weapon.

Can’t wait to find out.

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