Monday, August 8, 2011

Back in First

Photo: Reddick between Ortiz and Pedroia, celebrating his 10th inning, game-winning hit.  Matt Stone, Boston Herald

Four days' fever of over 101 degrees, plus the moving and such (and a little writing), have kept me away, but I thought it was time to add a little perspective:

--You've heard that baseball is a game of inches; this series showed this.  Last night, Rivera made two mistakes: he left a ball up to Scutaro (double) and another to Pedroia (SF).  That's it.  The Sox finally played small ball when it mattered, which is not easy against Mo.  Pedroia's sacrifice fly was just as impressive as Scutaro's double.  Mo usually Ks the batter or makes him ground out (with a drawn-in infield, that's usually bad) in that situation.  The Sox had missed better chances to score all game--and all series.  Anyway, that's it.  Two pitches slightly up.  Despite a Top-5 sports reporter's column, games now have almost no bearing in October.  Mo will not be fazed then by this.  CC?  Maybe a little bit more.

--Having said that, it is amazing that Sabathia is 10-2 against the rest of the majors, with an ERA barely above 2, and 0-4 against Boston with an ERA about 7.  I repeat, though: This will matter only a little bit in October.

--The Sox 10-2 record against the Yanks is also inexplicable.  But there are 7 regular season games yet between these two.  If the Yanks win them all, we're having the exact opposite conversation in October.

--Here's to hoping that Reddick plays when J.D. returns.  In fact, I'd prefer Reddick in right in the postseason as well.  Maybe a platoon?  How's Reddick hitting against lefties, anyway?  Well, he's 9-23, .331, over 1.000 OPS against lefties, according to  How about we leave him in against both for awhile?  He's being platooned against lefties; I don't see that (outside of stroking a veterans ego).

--The Yankees starting pitching staff is either seriously overachieving, or coming into its own.  Nova and other unknowns have 9, 10 wins.  The proof will be in October.

--Speaking of October, the Sox/Yanks have a 9+ game lead in the wild card race.  What race?

--I hope I can land a playoff ticket.  Last playoff game I saw was the Sox 7-run comeback against the Rays in 2008.  Went with my Dad; glad I did.  It was his last game.

--Speaking of starting pitching, Beckett and Lester are gonna hafta be Johnson and Schilling in order for the Sox to go anywhere in the playoffs.

--The Yanks are even more lost, with CC and who knows.  Nova, I guess.  Outside of those guys, Girardi pulls the starter and hopes for great relief like he got on Friday night.  Every game.  Or the offense will have to pound the other team into submission.

--By the way, I ran into some Action Packed (that's the brand name) football cards from 1993-1995.  Includes a Marshall Faulk rookie card (worth $10), and some Montanas, Elways, Marinos, Bledsoes, and other HOFers and stars.  All great shape; no wear or tear, corners sharp.  It's all worth over $42, but I'll let it go for $20; I'm moving and don't feel like dealing with more cards (I have literally thousands already).  Drop me an email at sb {at} stevenbelanger {dot} com if you're interested.

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