Saturday, June 11, 2005

Game 61: Prayer of the Fan

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 6, Chicago Cubs 7

Oh Lord, listen to this our daily prayer: send us more Mike Timlins, who with his strong arm and outstretched hand doth smite the opponents of thy servant's team most mightily coming out of the bullpen. Make them swift in arrival, Lord and make at least one of them left-handed to strike down the left-armed. Do this speedily, Lord; this is thy humble servant's prayer.


Red Sox Nation

Recap here, thanks to Joy of Sox. Two runs in the eighth inning equals ouch is what it came down to for me yesterday. Now, for something completely different:

First, there's this interesting tidbit. Two things: first, it's good that Theo is on the case about finding a Matt Mantei replacement. It was an experiment (which God knows he's entitled to perform), it didn't work, he's going to find someone else. The rest of the bullpen is still an unknown factor, with the exception, of course, of Mike Timlin. Embree's fastball is still running flat, Mike Myers might be verging on overuse, Halama has been called into too many games this roadtrip because of bad starts and Foulke seems to be improving. Justin Neill has some interesting analysis that suggest hope is in the future. Second, to panic now is ludicrous. Yes, ludicrous. Two reasons: first, the Sox are on the verge of completing a set of series against four of the toughest teams in baseball (Orioles, Angels, Cardinals and Cubs) and two of those four series were in National League ballparks, where the Sox offense is shorthanded.. And, for the record, the Sox split the series with Baltimore and won the series against Anaheim. Give Boston a chance to play more at home and things will improve.

Then we've got this sweetmeat. Let's deconstruct: first, there are the reasons I gave up above about not panicking. Second, we don't need to trade for a first baseman; we have two. Our regular guy, Kevin Millar, has been on a tear recently: he's raised his average 20 points since the beginning of the month, has been four for his last eight with a .556 OBP...and this on a National League roadtrip, when he hasn't been playing lately. The backup/defensive replacement, John Olerud, who's also serving as Millar's Sword of Damocles, is hitting .364 with a .400 OPB over 22 at-bats. The keys are there; we don't need to switch them. Bill Mueller has been steadily raising his average since the beginning of May; he's up 40 points. Renteria had a pretty terrible series against St. Louis, but he's still hit in six of his last ten games and has a four game hitting streak going. Manny does need an intervention and Schilling's return will be a godsend, but it's not like it's September and the season is doomed. That leads me to my final point: it's June. You know, the time of the historical June swoon? Last year the Sox were terrible for about two months of the year, ended up many more games behind first place than they are now...and still won it all. Theo will make the moves he has to make, Schilling will come back, Manny will get his head back together and we'll go from there.

Tonight, 8:05, Wakefield versus Glendon Rusch to avoid the sweep. Wake is 0 and 5 since Mirabelli went on the DL. GO SOX!!!