Sunday, April 10, 2005


Thats the second time this short season that the Red Sox have come from behind in the ninth inning on the road, only to have their bullpen blow it in the bottom of the ninth. Thats a pretty big buzz kill right there. Against the yankees it was Keith Foulke, and today the arsonist de jur was Mike Timlin who, after getting one out, gave up a single and then a smashed double into the gap that ended the game as the runner scored all the way from first.

After my initial anger over this upsetting ending to the game subsided, I looked at the box score and saw that the Sox actually out-hit the Jays. This is good in a way, and in a way it's not. It's good because it means that their offense is working. The hitting with runners in scoring position will come. The Sox will score their runs in time. Of that I am confident. Its not good because they went into the ninth with a chance to win a series on the road against a team that they're better than and couldn't do it.

A few things I'm wondering:

-Why wasn't Foulke pitching in the ninth? Timlin is a good pitcher, but thats not his spot in the game. Usually, or at least hopefully, the Sox would use their best reliever in that situation (which is Foulke) to preserve the tie and give the Sox offense another shot at scoring the winning run. I'll chalk that up to not having Francona in the dugout. However, I don't believe that Timlin was the guy you'd want in pitching in that situation. I really hope this was just a brain fart and not a case of Foulke being held back for use against New York.

-Clement's walk total was huge. Five in six innings. Other than that it looks like he pitched very well. He's always had walk problems, so this is nothing new. The Sox knew this when they gave him a big contract. But I was hoping that somehow the walks would start to go down a bit. A walk an inning is a good way to lose a ballgame, even if you do strike out a guy an inning. That still leaves two guys putting the ball in play against you per inning, and when you hand the other team a free baserunner each inning you are setting yourself up to give up a bunch of runs. As a pitcher you have to make other teams earn their way on base. Essentially, this is the aspect that Curt Schilling fixed which allowed him to go from a decent pitcher to a great one. He still strikes out the same number of guys he always had (maybe even a few less), but he's cut way down on the walks. Clement needs to do this as well if he hopes to be similarly successful.

In better news Yankees lost as well, losing their series with Baltimore at home 2-1. The standings (yes, I know, its too early for this) look like this after six games:

Toronto 4-2
Tampa Bay 3-2
Baltimore 3-3
NY 3-3
Boston 2-4

I point this out not because it is the exact opposite of what I and many others predicted it will be at the end of the season.

Still, it would have been nice to steal Sunday's game and take the series in Toronto. Hopefully we can get the bullpen situation sorted out and get on the good side of .500, preferably this week against NY.

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