Monday, April 18, 2011


Well, two in a row for the second time this year.  Let's not get too excited--let's at least reach .500 first--but here's what I saw yesterday:

--It begins and ends with starting pitching.  This was a close game for awhile there, but Lester had them all the way.  It helps that the Jays are a largely undisciplined hitting and running team.

--But if your starter goes 6 innings (and he could have gone 7 but for some questionable defense) and has the lead, you will win more often than not.  If your starter has to leave in the 4th or 5th, you will lose.  The Sox have done much better when their starters have done much better.  It's not brain surgery.

--Crawford continues to press.  The boos are loud on television now.  In today's (Monday) game, he came up with runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out, and couldn't at least hit it to the right side to move them over.  He's doing horribly with the fundamentals right now--as I mentioned in a recent blog; he needs to do the basics before he can drive the ball with authority right now.

--Jenks, Bard and Wheeler pitched last night like they're always supposed to.  This bullpen can be great if these guys only have to pitch one inning each, preferably with nobody on base.

--Bard seems to be the de facto save guy, the guy you bring in the 6th-8th innings right when the game is on the line.  Papelbon will do the 9th, but any fan knows that is often not where the save happens.

--Speaking of which, something must be done with hold and save rules and stats, as they are often indicative of nothing.  Bard may actually get 2 to 3 times more saves than Papelbon will, but they count as holds.  Both stats seem ridiculous, but I'm sure their agents have someone keeping tabs of how they perform in all situations.

--I'm not impressed by Gonzalez's hitting so far.  He needs to be more aggressive up there.  Let's start earning all that money, big guy.

--Speaking of that, his contract seems to be a good move to me.  But the Sox had better saddle up with Pedroia and Youkillis, too, or I'd have a bad feeling in my mouth if I were them.

--Papelbon is 30, which is older than most of the Sox players, for those keeping track.

--It's good to see Okie-Dokie coming back up.  I hope he can stay and show the form of a few years ago.  Doubront has promise--and I have his autograph, too--but he hasn't been severely impressing, and I feel that they're trying to make him attractive trade bait.  In the meantime, he's an emergency spot starter, if necessary.  Makes you wonder what they feel Wake is better doing at this point.

--They're looking better, but let's wait until they're at .500 before we say they're in the playoffs.

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