Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The [Good?], the Bad, and the Ugly

The good:
Jon Lester has a great pick off move.  After reading the now-infamous Moneyball, I never thought I would see the Oakland A's of all teams run themselves out of an inning, but that's exactly what happened in the bottom of the fourth last night.  Lester allowed back to back base hits to Ryan Sweeney and Orlando Cabrera, and then erased them both via the pickoff.  Billy Beane must have been freaking out in the parking lot with his white box... [If you haven't read Moneyball, do it.  Right now.]

Jason Varitek still has zero strikeouts this season.  Last season, he struck out nearly once a game, with 122 K's in 131 games played.  Varitek is the only Red Sox batter who has not yet recorded a strikeout.

Nomar still loves us.  The Globe  ran a story this morning about how the 2004 Red Sox shortstops have been united in Oakland this year for the first time.  It's a great read, especially if you like reminiscing about the good old days before Garciaparra was sullen, paranoid, and then practically chased out of town.  Nevertheless, Boston's pre-Pedroia Golden Boy has a soft spot for the Sox in his heart, and says he'd love to return to us.  Also, he can't get through a day without a member of Red Sox Nation yelling "NOMAHHHHH!!"

The bad:
The Sox just aren't hitting.  Besides the once doubted cleanup hitter, and the man who replaced the last cleanup hitter [Youkilis and Bay], the lineup is looking positively anemic.  For all of Ortiz's offseason hints that he needed more protection, it doesn't seem to be the protector that's the problem, but Papi himself, who is 5-for-24 (.208).

Lester's ERA is at an even 9.00.  Ouch.  But hey, no worries, because Lester doesn't think he's pitching that badly... Ahem, though he's now given up 18 hits in 11 inning... he has struck out ten while walking only two, so perhaps the control is just a bit rusty.  Hopefully the Jon Lester we know and love will be back soon... like next week.

Mike Lowell has hit into as many double plays as he has hits.  I'm not a big fan of this trend, although maybe the double play numbers will go down as Lowell's hip continues to heal.  Oh, that has little to nothing to do with it?  Well, I'm still hoping.

The ugly:
Dustin Pedroia is 5-for-38 (.179).  Ok, here I think I can take a little comfort: Pedroia is a notoriously slow starter, having a career .252 batting average for April (.310 overall).  In 2007, if you recall, fans were clammoring for the short second baseman to be replaced.  Thank god Tito doesn't listen to fans.  Personally, I'll stick with Dustin for the long haul.

The #5 starter has as many wins as the rest of the staff combined.  Lester, Matsuzaka, and Wakefield have yet to record a win.  All five losses so far have been charged to the starting pitching.  Is Smoltz ready yet?

Our dear old friend Nomar hit a homah off of Lester last night, adding insult to injury:

Deep breaths... the Sox play again tonight at 10... we have to win eventually, right?

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