Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Game 76: Hail to the King, Baby

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 7, Seattle Mariners 8

Now I remember why having a decent bullpen is important: it keeps games from seesawing back and forth, like last night's toothless wonder. Sure, the Sox got to King Felix and his ineffective fastball early and often, keeping Boston in the game with six runs over the first six innings, but every time the Sox would establish a lead - or tie the game - Seattle had an offensive answer that kept this frustrating game going tit-for-tat far too late into the night.

Hernandez may have been nowhere near the dominating powerhouse he was on his last outing against Boston on April 11, but (once again) he still managed to outpitch Boston's starter, as the once glorified and exalted Gabbo...well, not to put to fine a point on it, but he sucked. Long and hard, with enough walks to turn the base paths into a treadmill for Mariners. Lord knows where the kid's command went, but it wasn't with him last night. However, according to the Herald, Gabbo will get another shot to prove himself again next week - Tito is not going to use the off day on Thursday to rejigger the rotation to cover for Schilling's second missed start. Having a ten game lead on the competition does give you the opportunity to experiment, I guess...

Speaking of Tito, what was up with his decision to leave MDC in for more than an inning last night? I know we're a bit short on relievers at the moment - a problem compounded by Joel Pineiro twisting his ankle in one of the more awkward ways possible - but MDC ain't no Kyle Snyder and his presence on the mound in the fifth made the bullpen look very, very thin. I'm a little surprised the Red Sox haven't called up another reliever to compensate, really - looking at the Sox pitching numbers against Seattle this year, poor pitching performance should now be the expectation, not the exception.