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  • August 10th, 2009

    Red Sox 2, Skanks 5:
    I am at a loss…

    Posted by Christine E. at 5:04 pm in Baseball,Random Thoughts,Red Sox No Comments

    And, apparently, the Sox are too–6 in a row actually…and it doesn’t look good–at all…

    And, apologies in advance for the jumping around–so much happened this weekend, its hard to know where one is to begin…

    How does one sum up this weekend, from a Red Sox fans perspective? If you’re a Skanks fan, it’s easy–just like it was easy when the Sox were doing the bashing and winning was effortless…

    But now, players are dropping left and right, the bat have went almost completely silent (31 innings of SCORELESS baseball this weekend–THIRTY ONE!!!!), formerly solid relievers have crashed and burned…and a future hall of famer is shown the door…all in the last 3 days…

    Here is the ugly reality:

    Friday Night: Red Sox 0, Skanks 2–in 15 innings: If the Sox had come out of this one with the win, I think it would have changed alot of things for the weekend–but this one was a real back breaker. Junichi Tazawa, a fresh call up for his 1st game in the bigs, is brought into a 0-0 nail biter in the 14th inning–THE LAST PITCHER THE SOX HAD, which is a horrible way to kick off your major league career–but he held it together for an inning in 2/3, and it looked like he would even get through the 15th inning–until freaking A-Fraud drills a 2-run homer to end the game…

    And let me tell you, when I was watching that game, I kept flashing back to the 13 inning Tampa Bay Debacle–I think I even yelled at one point “Just walk Eva(n) Longoria already” It was that bad….

    Saturday Afternoon: Red Sox 0, Skanks 5: Clay Buchholtz kept it together, and matched CC Sabathia pretty much pitch for pitch. Special thanks for Jacoby Ellsbury for once again, saving Red Sox bacon, and breaking up CC’s no-hitter in the 5th inning…but then the Skanks got to the bullpen, and at the end of it all, the Sox were 24 innings of scoreless baseball…

    Sunday Evening: Red Sox 2, Skanks 5: What better place to watch the complete destruction of the Sox, but on ESPN national prime time…Jon Lester was brilliant, throwing 7 innings of 1 run, 5 hit ball (including a homer), while walking none and striking out 7–and when Victor Martinez hit the 2 run homer in the 7th, I thought that perhaps the Sox would win this one….

    But then, Daniel Bard, who has been all but unhittable this year, came in, and in 2/3 of an inning, 17 pitches later, he had given up 2 solo shots (to Skeezy Bastard, and Toxemia) and the game was out of reach again…Did help matters that when Okajima came in, he allowed the run he inherited to score, and added one of his own..

    So, again, Jon Lester was denied a win, just like Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett before them…For the most part, the pitching wasn’t the issue this weekend…

    It was the hitting, or, more accurately, the lack thereof…

    So now the worst has happened: the Sox are 6.5 games behind the Skanks, went 3-6 on the road trip, and are tied with the Rangers in the Wild Card race–can they climb out of this hole? There are 50 games left…Confidence is not high, but, since this is baseball, anything can happen…

    Since Jed Lowrie is out of commission for the next 15 days, (he is in Arizona today, meeting with his wrist surgeon…) the Sox have put in a claim for All-Star shortstop Cristian Guzman, who is currently playing for the Nationals. If the Sox are awarded the claim, they have 48 hours to put a deal together with the Nationals, or, they could pull him back off waivers, or even award him to the Red Sox outright, without a negotiation–although I am not sure why they would do that…in 92 games this year, Guzman is hitting .315 with 5 homers…

    So Big Papi held a press conference, with the new head of the Player Association seated with him (After their complete and utter refusal to help him get the info about what he tested positive for, why he would even want them in the same room) and basically said that while he never knowingly took steroids, he has been “careless” with his supplement use, and apologized to everyone for being a distraction. While I hope this will put an end to the distraction, and the team can move on, I expected a little more from Big Papi, basically in light of the fact that he made this big show is trying to “find out the truth”…Is he guilty? As much as it pains me to say, probably. Is he still on undetectable stuff? That we may never know…But I will say this: Release the fricken names already–this dribs and drabs nonsense has gone on long enough…

    I was at dinner on Friday night when I got the text that the Sox had designated John Smoltz for assignment (they did the same to Billy Traber, but that was a little less of a surprise) and while it was not totally unexpected–I WAS surprised at the timing. But I guess they needed the roster spots, which is why they did it so quickly. They now have 10 days to trade him, release him, or send him to Pawtucket. Apparently, they told him to go home for a couple of days, and think about his path forward–did he want to retire? Try to find another team (not sure that will happen) or go back to Pawtucket and try to work out the bugs there…I hope he opts to stay with the organization, as I would like to see if he can contribute to the bigs at some point…

    So, with the gaping hole that is the 5th place in the starting rotation, the Sox will give Tazawa his 1st start in the bigs on Tuesday night. The 23 years old right hander, who used to pitch for the industrial leagues in Japan, is 9-7 with a 2.55 ERA in 20 starts in the minors this year. Frankly, he can’t do any worse than Smoltz, and I think he handled himself very well, considering the horrible situation he was in on Friday night…

    Pitcher Injury Update: Daisuke will throw again tomorrow, a 497 (actually, its only 40) pitch bullpen session. The plan is to increase the pitch count every 3 days, with 50 on Friday, and then 65 on Monday…The Sox do not expect him back until September, probably when the roster expand on the 1st…

    Tim Wakefield will reunite with his batterymate and fellow DL-er George Kottaras, for a 2 inning simulated game today. His shoulder and lower back are fine, it’s just the residual calf issue from the sciatica that is preventing his reactivation–he cannot field his position…Tito summed it up best: “He’s not ready to pitch yet because of his calf. Well, I take that back. He’s actually ready to pitch; he’s not ready to play the game. If the team we play promises they won’t bunt, we’d pitch him.’’

    Coming up: I dont see it getting any better for the Sox, with Bad Penny! kicking off the 4-game home series against Detroit, opposed by Edwin Jackson. The only saving grace is the fact that Penny pitches better at Fenway than he does on the road–we’ll see… 1st pitch: 7:10pm….

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