Nine Up, Nine Down: Are the Sox Back?

* Let’s answer the question in the title? Are the Red Sox back? Something that cannot be answered statistically, but only with opinion. My opinion? Yes. The Red Sox have been notoriously streaky this season, so the streak seems to be snapped. This game yesterday was a massive momentum and confidence booster. Now, if the Red Sox win by a score of something like 3-1, then no, I don’t think the Red Sox are out of the woods. They needed the team to CLICK. To have everything humming along, and it finally happened.
* Now, if Kevin Millar was in the lineup, does that happen? John Olerud’s showing has convinced me (even though it’s one start, he was torrid in X-ST and AAA) has given me enough courage to say that they need to start platooning Olerud and Millar – not because Millar is terrible … I would say Olerud and Millar will probably end up with similar statistics, but to get a lefthander (Olerud) into the mix, and to just shake things up. The “same old, same old” can get just that – old.
* Renteria has heated up over the Blue Jays series and now the Yankees. I suppose it’s a good idea I didn’t run my “Man, am I upset we got Renteria, he’s horrible” article yet. Now no egg on my face! Seriously, while Renteria is nowhere as good as he’s been these last two series, at least he’s getting hot and hopefully can end up at a productive year. I have no idea if he’s streaky or not, but he’s becoming a road warrior, something the Red Sox might be happy with, and I as well. The Red Sox have always been a hitting team at home, and slumped away. Well, so far, Renteria is .237/.291/.433 in 67 AB at home (too small of a sample size to truly see, but…) and is .287/.347/.333 away, and this is not including last night’s game, so… oh, and for reference, through May 21st, Renteria was hitting .245/.295/.342 and from the 22nd on has hit .450/.500/.600. Yay.
* MATT CLEMENT. 6-0, 3.06 ERA. Man, I loved this guy since first seeing him, and … I think we’ve found a stopper, an ace, I really think so, I do, I do, I doooo. Okay, more realistically, here are the results of the game before Matt pitched and the result of the game he then pitched. I have also filed his starts into bad, average, and good.
L – L (Bad)
L – L (Average)
W – W (Good)
W – W (Good)
L – L (Bad)
W – W (Average)
W – W (Good)
W – W (Good)
L – W (Bad)
L – W (Good)
L – W (Good)
As you can see, he mirrors his team up until the Oakland game in which he got a no decision – he’s become a stopper since then. Continue on, Matt.
* Thanks to the bullpen for pitching well. Mike Timlin has a 1.52 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 23.2 IP. (Embree should have mopped up today, where was Timlin and Mantei yesterday when it mattered?) Mike Myers has a 2.35 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in 7.2 IP (15 games, but still too little – dude is good) and Keith Foulke has a 6.65 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 23.0 IP, but I think is coming around.
* Up until May 11, Foulke had a 7.94 ERA, 5.29 K/9, 3.71 BB/9 (and hit rock bottom in that game, incidentally). Since then? a 3.60 ERA, 10.80 K/9, 1.80 BB/9. He has pitched in six games since May 11th, throwing scoreless frames in each of these six save one game when he coughed two runs up. Eliminate these two runs and he’s back to himself. Hi, Keith. We missed you.
* Hi, Manny. Welcome back. Congratulations, you no longer have the worst batting average in the starting lineup.
Damon .345
Renteria .281
Ortiz .281
Ramirez .243
Nixon .316
Varitek .329
Millar .248
Mueller .289
Bellhorn .241
* Hey, Bellhorn. Pick the pace up. You went 2-6 today with 2 runs, 2 K, and one walk. Both hits were singles, and your slugging percentage this year is .372. Your career is .409 and last year was .444. Want to keep your job? Then play. Maybe Ramon Vazquez might take your job. Or Dustin Pedroia could be called up. Or a trade? Either way, pick it up. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. Don’t want any acting roles!
* The Baltimore Orioles have lost two in a row and as Joe Jackson said, if the Red Sox win just one (inspirational) game, things get turned around and the Orioles could be in trouble. Inspirational win? Check. Turning around? We can only hope.