Thursday, June 14, 2007

Game 64: Curt Schilling is Consistently Inconsistent

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 2, Colorado Rockies 12

Before I go into a rant about the failures of the offense, I want to talk about an odd and disturbing trend in Schillling's pitching, a trend that may spell disaster for the Sox - or at least a lot of bad nights for RSN: over the past month, Schilling has consistently alternated between good and bad starts like clockwork. During that time (starting May 12, when he gave up four runs and got a no decision when Lopez allowed an inherited runner to score), Schilling's had three starts where he's given up four to five earned runs, alternated with three starts where he's given up zero to two earned runs. My current working theory is that he gets pissed off after a bad start, pitches his brains out in his next outing, then gets complacent and has another bad start that gets him pissed off again. If so, that's gotta be a tough way to pitch, especially for a guy looking for a contract for next year.

Last night was true to the pattern: after dominating the A's for Boston's only California win on June 7, Schilling gave up two earned runs (et tu, Lowell? Where did your glove go?) in the first two innings, retired seven in a row, gave up two singles to start the fifth, got the next two outs easily, then surrendered the three-run homer to Brad Hawpe that effectively ended his night. During that nine out stretch, however, Schilling gave up more near-miss foul balls (i.e., foul balls that missed the fair side of the foul pole by mere feet) than I have fingers and toes to count on and Hawpe's home run was more of the dropping of the other shoe than an unexpected shock.

So much for Schilling, who will probably come out throwing flames for his next start on Monday against the Braves. The rest of the game was a battle of mediocrity, as the bullpen and the offense fought to see who was more useless. In the end, Red Sox bats connected for eight hits but left seven men on base, while the bullpen surrendered six runs in four innings, so I'd say the real winners were - not surprisingly - the Rockies. And the Yankees, who are now within 8.5 games. Not to overstate the obvious, fellas, but some hitting would really help turn this messy situation around.