Nine Up, Nine Down: Thoughts on the Game

Leadoff: Well, I can’t say the outcome was a surprise to me, but did the Red Sox have to make me wrestle with my emotions? As I’ve said to several people via IM (if you ever want to drop me a line, find me at EvanatMVN, I’d love to talk Red Sox with you!) I felt that the Red Sox could take three of four. Tim Redding of a 9.10 ERA and Darrell May (who is probably going to start Sunday) is filled to the brim with suckitude (and has to face Yankee-killer Tim Wakefield), so that’s two games right there. In addition, Randy Johnson has a career ERA against the Red Sox, highest against every team. Randy Johnson just doesn’t scare me, and Matt Clement is, well, Matt Clement.
On Deck: But jeez, jumping out to a four-run lead really ought to win a game. Arroyo was okay. Nothing special, just okay. Two cheapie homeruns really hurt. Bernie’s homerun was just fair and in most parks (read: parks that don’t have the Pesky Pole) it’s either out or foul. As for Jason Giambi’s home-run, while it would have been out in most parks, goodness … Trot Nixon made a hell of a catch, but someone pulled a Steve Bartman (apologies to Bartman) and stole the HR away. Now, I can’t fault the fan because he probably didn’t notice Nixon, but geez! As someone on noted, that fan should be beat up by Gary Sheffield.
Third: Curt Schilling needs to go on the Disabled List. He needs to stop hanging with David Wells and Joe from Dunkin’ Donuts. He still is effective as he was in the low 90s, but he has no ankle, no lower-body. He was not driving with his legs, not driving off the ankle. Curt was actually pretty good tonight when you note he was all arm and no drive. He battled Gary Sheffield and gave up a HR to A-Rod (as have many others…) and then got three outs. Honestly, with no lower legs, I’m quite pleased with what he did tonight.
Cleanup: That doesn’t mean he should still be going out there. If we have the potential to have him be an ace starter rather than an above-average reliever, you do it. You DL him, tell him to lose some pounds, and go to Triple-A and work on starting. If you’re on the DL, a rehab start can last no longer than 30 days. So have him take five turns in the Pawtucket rotation (and only call him up if he’s sensational in his first three) and then call him up in August. Considering whoever you have on the playoff roster must be on the 25-man no later than August 31, mid-August is pretty good timing. We’re in first without Schill. (Actually, with him and his 1-3, 8.68 line)
Five-hitter: Trot Nixon had a great night, and I think is flying under the radar for us, so here is some Nixon love. Trot, thank you for your .296/.377/.484 line. While not as good as your 2003 full season or short 2004 season, I’ll happily take it. It is great to have production out of right field where we really didn’t have any last year. Your grittiness and your defense really make you a true Red Sox, and you belong in the company of Jason Varitek. We’re honored to have you, and your .318/.500/.682 (NOT updated from last night!) line against the Yankees.
Sixth: It’s official. I’ve welcomed Chad Bradford into the mix. I like this guy, and I’ve heard nothing but praise from David Isaacs. “This is the guy you want on the mound with a tough righty at the plate, ducks on the pond, and a lead to protect.” Granted, he walked a batter, but I’m not complaining considering who was up at the time, and he retired Gary Sheffield, who I hope rips his ACL, breaks his elbow, gets a Grade A concussion, and breaks his ribs tomorrow, forcing him to retire. You may think that’s harsh, but he’s a harsh man who has no business playing a game we all love and getting paid millions for it. And I’d have the same opinion if he was on the Red Sox.
Seventh: A Embree relieved C Bradford, A Rodriguez at the plate. H Matsui flied out to right. Giambi grounded out to second. Wow, congratulations! You actually, you know, did something effective, Alan! J Posada doubled to left. T Womack ran for J Posada. M Timlin relieved A Embree. B Williams grounded out to first, T Womack to third. R Sierra hit for M Cabrera. R Sierra doubled to right, T Womack scored, run credited to Embree. Nevermind. Letting Jorge Posada, riding a .000/.000/.000 streak, double? Okay, so Timlin messed up. He’s not perfect and actually while Timlin has been nails for us, does let quite a bit of inherited runners score (something Chad Bradford does not allow.) Bottom line, Embree messed up again. You have Timlin start that inning, I think it’s a different ballgame.
Eighth: Mark Bellhorn: 0-3, 2 Ks, 4 men left on base. K argument aside, everyone can essentially agree on one thing. He sucks. Get him out of there.
Ninth: Mike, I love your enthusiasm and your comments, but… your comment here which says: Guys, I can’t continue to let the Red Sox dissapoint me like this. I just can’t sit here and watch this anymore. Maybe I’ll be back in a few months, but like I said, if I watch this game anymore I might have a heart attack. haha …while I understand is a little on the light side, is also a bit ridiculous. You’re not the only person in the boat, though. A lot of people are feeling this way, so let me point something out.
1) We are in first,
2) We have a cushy second half schedule while the Yankees do not,
3) Theo is moving to improve our bullpen which has already started,
4) We are in first,
5) Tim Redding goes tomorrow,
6) Darrell May or some other pitcher who will get bombed goes Sunday,
7) RJ gives us a good chance to take three of four and even if he wins, we are going to split this series at the very least,
8) We Trust in Theo, and
9) We are in first.
Come off the ledge.
Does anyone else think ESPN is really milking this Curt Schilling to the bullpen? No wonder we’re the second most hated baseball team. I’d hate the Red Sox too if I wasn’t a fan of them. The media coverage since we’ve won it all is insufferable. It’s just a shame people hate the Red Sox when they should hate the media outlets.

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