Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Evil Empire Strikes Back

This doesn't bode well for the Red Sox: in their three wins they have scored 7, 6 and 8 runs, a seven run average. In their five losses they have scored 2, 3, 5, 5, and 2 again for an average of 3.4. I know the God of Sample Sizes frowns upon such silly exercises as the one above. Obviously there are extenuating circumstances up the wazoo, but right now these are the numbers that we have to work with. Well, I could make up some new numbers, but I think you'd all realize that the Sox haven't become the first team ever to win 200 of their first seven games.

This lack of scoring has to do with a number of different things. First of all, the fact that a number of Sox haven't started hitting yet, most notably Manny Ramirez who was hitting just over .200 when last I checked (last night). Manny has also gone nine games without homering, the longest draught of his career to begin a season. It’s a bit of a loaded stat, but it does indicate that he's not hitting which is why I mention it. Another Sox who has gotten off to a bad start is Edgar Renteria. A bad start may be understating things, as Renteria has made a number of costly errors in the field and seems to ground into double plays whenever he gets the opportunity. He did get two hits last night, so maybe that will signal somewhat of a breakout for him, though I have watched about five of the seven games this season and have yet to see Renteria hit the ball hard.

The biggest concern for me is that in their seven games the Sox have allowed an average of 6.43 runs a game. While there have been some fielding miss-cues (Hellooooo Edgar!) 95% of this hideous number falls squarely on the semi-able shoulders of the Sox pitching staff. To say they haven't pitched well so far is, again, an understatement. Yesterday was the first quality outing from the bullpen that I've seen, and yes, I did miss the first two Toronto games. But still, Mantei, Halama, Timlin, Embree and even Foulke have pitched at replacement level at best so far. And the rotation hasn't been a whole lot better. The return of Schilling could be a positive sign, as even the runs he gave up seemed to come when he was tiring in the fifth and sixth innings. But the Sox best pitchers shouldn't be taken deep by the Desiccated Remains of Bernie Williams and Jason "I'm sorry for...uh... you-know-what" Giambi. That’s an ignominious ending if I've ever seen one.

The brightest spot so far in this young season is that it's still a young season. There is plenty of time to catch the uh... Blue Jays?...and even more time to humiliate the Yankees yet again this year. I look forward to both. I just have to keep in mind that the baseball season is a marathon not a sprint, and this isn't time to jump off the bridge/throw your beer against the wall/scream swear words while your girlfriend is on the phone with her mom telling her that she's moving in with me. Yet.

Tonight Bronson Arroyo attempts to redeem Red Sox Nation against the Big Mustache, uh, er, Unit and take the series too boot. God speed, young Bronson! The eyes of millions of chip-eating, beer swilling, couch-slouching fans, not unlike me, will be upon you, much like the spinach dip upon our shirts.

Or, put another way: Sox/Yanks tonight. Go Sawks!

No comments: