Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Game 57: Not So Much

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 1, St. Louis Cardinals 7

I missed most of this game, but from what I gather, the best part of the night for the Sox was the standing ovation Edgar Renteria received when he came out for the first time. Of course, he then had a terrible night. Matt Morris threw a complete game with one run, five hits and 103 pitches. The Sox, even if they were Sox-lite, couldn't throw up anything and the Cardinals were their usual deadly selves.

The draft is in full swing; the Sox selected 21 year old Jacoby Ellsbury from Oregon State in the first round. The center fielder is most noted for his OPS and speed; Baseball America rated him the fastest baserunner in the NCAA. The redsox.com article mentions that the Sox have been going after speed in the past few years, which means that eventually more of that speed will filter towards the top. The question is whether or not that speed will end up with Sox in the majors, or be sent to other teams in exchange for players with other strengths. If Theo continues to adhere to the Moneyball philosophy, speed is not the important factor here - base stealing is an anathema to the Moneyball freak (much like sacrifice flies and bunts), because of the risks of wasting an out. At the same time, speed is good in the outfield, especially when, like Johnny Damon, your arm isn't strong enough to make long, accurate throws. The fact that Ellsbury also had a .504 OPS this past season makes him more important than the average speedster - if he can continue to get on base and ends up with a high number of steals, he might have more lasting value.

The Sox selected 21 year old reliever Craig Hansen in the second round, a power pitcher who picked up 13 saves in 28 appearances this year and had a perfect ERA and struck out 41 in the Cape Cod leagues last year. Again, redsox.com's commentary is that Hansen is almost ready to hit the bigs...but clearly there's a big risk there, as Cla Meredith has already proven this year.

Tonight it's Abe Lincoln versus the Supah-Runnah; maybe the Sox bats and defense will show up tonight too. GO SOX!!!