Mood Swings

You might be wondering why I’ve remained silent for five days. This is because I have experienced incredible mood swings all these days. Blow up the team! Trade for Randy Johnson! Get Kris Benson! Keep the team as is! Get a bullpen that does the job! Fire Francona and hire either Joe Maddon or Buddy Bailey! Concede the division to the Yankees! Wait, we can get the Yankees! Start with the Anaheim series, and my reaction. Then Pedro Martinez won. And I thought to myself, “maybe we do have a shot.” Then the next day, David Ortiz took all the team’s fustrations, bottled it in himself, and exploded. And we lost. I was mad. We lost. I started moaning about our road woes. Then Curt Schilling won. I didn’t know what to think. Wow, maybe we’ve got over our r`oad woes? Or perhaps we have the modern day Spahn and Sain.
You know how it goes.
Spahn and Sain, and pray for rain.
A couple years ago, I tickled myself with this little adage:
Pedro and Lowe, and pray for snow.
It seems this is a common theme with Red Sox pitching – we can only win with two starters. Pedro and Schilling and filling.
The Anaheim Series was over. It was now onto a two-game series with Seattle then and a three-game (one doubleheader) with Baltimore, culiminating in a series with the hated Yankees, which, incidentally, I am going to the opening game, which is the 23rd. I had high highs and low lows in the Anaheim series. Following is a day-by-day blow of how I felt over the next two days.
July 19 – Seattle
Written 7/20 11:45 AM: Wow, what an utterly demoralizing loss. People are saying it’s the worst loss of the season. I don’t think it is, I think it was the first loss to Anaheim. But it’s pretty close. But I’m not frustrated … I’m just disappointed. We were up 4-2 with Foulke on the mound, who then gives up two solo HRs to Miguel Olivo and Edgar Martinez. I’m sorry, but if Foulke is going to lead us to the promised land, he can’t take shortcuts. He now has 5 blown saves to go with 13 saves. Say what you want about erratic work: the stats don’t lie. 13 SV, 5 BS. Not much we can do but get over the loss. Arroyo had a scintillating 12 K effort, and “The last pitcher to record at least 11 consecutive outs by strikeout was The Unit himself, who whiffed 13 straight July 4, 2001, in Houston against the Astros.” Now we can add Arroyo to that list. Derek Lowe goes on the 20th.
This is pretty much THE START for Lowe.
July 20 – Seattle:
Written 7/20 10:34 PM: That was a lousy win. Just plain lousy.
DEREK LOWE, 5 IP, 4 ER, 5.75 ERA
CURTIS LESKANIC, 1 IP, 0 ER, 6.99 ERA
MIKE TIMLIN, 1 IP, 1 ER, 3.65 ERA
JOE NELSON, 0.1 IP, 2 ER, 16.88 ERA
ALAN EMBREE, 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 4.67 ERA
KEITH FOULKE, 1 IP, 0 ER, 1.76 ERA
Even Leskanic and Foulke didn’t exactly skate through their innings, especially Foulke who I thought was going to blow it when Bret Boone came up to bat. We kept scoring runs, but the pitching kept coughing it back up. I’m looking forward to Joe Nelson being sent down when Scott Williamson is activated. This isn’t a knock against Nelson, I bet he could be a serviceable relief pitcher, but he’s not what we need at this point. Then you have Ramiro Mendoza who might turn into something considering it’s a contract year and half the season is over, resulting in a very fresh arm. Then you have Jimmy Anderson, which must be deported to Pluto immediately. In his place we could possibly acquire Mike Myers from Seattle. For who, you may ask? It could get done if we ate Kim’s contract.
Who will start one of the games of the doubleheader in two days? Apparently it’s been narrowed down to Frank Castillo or Abe Alvarez. Man, wouldn’t it be great if it was Alvarez?
Have Alvarez start one of the doubleheaders. If he does well, keep him up in place of Lowe. Either way, it’d be a feel-good story and the introduction of Abe to RSN. I believe that RSN is going to embrace Abe when he does make the team, he is a very quirky individual. (I had two previous posts on Abe, found here and here.)
Alas, my enthusiasm is tempered by the fact that Abe is not even on the 40-man roster, so would we burn an entire option year for Abe, for one start? I don’t think so. Besides, it looks as if Frank Castillo has pitched better than Abe in the minors (4.35 ERA at AAA compared to ERA at 3.53 AA) and also Castillo has done this before – starting in the majors. Then again, it’s possible the Red Sox could ‘burn’ the option year – then they could bring him back up in September with no repercussions. Each minor league player has three option years before he either has to be released or kept on the major league roster. If the Red Sox believe he would make it to the majors anyways by 2007 (which he would), then ‘burning’ an option year is moot.
It’s possible that even Ramiro Mendoza could start the game.
You know, if Mendoza pitches lights out for the rest of the year, I could very concievably see us resigning him cheaply. And strangely enough, I’m confortable with that.