Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And all of a sudden...

Alright, we've learned that old adage is always true: you can never have enough pitching.  The thought a week and a half ago was that the Red Sox had the deepest pitching staff in the Majors.  We had arguably the best top 3 with Beckett, Matsuzaka, and Lester.  Wake is good for 10ish wins every year, and Penny is a rehabbing All-Star.  We have a surefire future Hall of Famer slated for a June Sox debut, and the "B" triple-threat at AAA: Buchholz, Bowden, and Bard.  Try to name another team that wouldn't have rushed to have Smoltz ready in April, or who would have sent a young pitcher with a no-no to his name back to AAA after the kind of Spring Training Buchholz had.  Sure, the lineup looked a little slimmer than we were used to, but we were told to believe in the pitching.

But all of a sudden, the pitching is looking thinner.  While the bullpen was amazing last night (11 innings pitched, 1 run), it is now almost totally worn out, the man who started that game, and your 2009 WBC MVP, Daisuke Matsuzaka has landed himself on the Disabled List with what the Red Sox are deeming "mild right shoulder sprain."  Yes, well, that can happen when you ask a Major League pitcher to pitch high pitch counts with playoff intensity in APRIL.

No problem, right?  Smoltz needs another six-ish weeks, but Buchholz is ready to go... except for the fact that he went just 3 2/3 innings in his last start.  I seem to remember reading somewhere that he had a sore hamstring...? Although I can't find that anywhere so I may be "misremembering," to quote old friend Roger Clemens.   I don't suppose he's looking for a job? (Ok, that might be reaching too far).  

The Sox have recalled lefty relief pitcher Hunter Jones from AAA Pawtucket, and it's looking like Masterson will be sliding into Matsuzaka's rotation spot.  Masterson, of course, went through most of Spring Training with a starter's workload, and he demonstrated that he still has the endurance to make those starts last night when he pitched four sterling innings of relief in last night's debacle.  

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