Friday, May 01, 2009

The Sad Times of Javier Lopez

Think you've had a crappy week at work? Compare your tough times with Javier Lopez:
  • On Tuesday, he became the (unwarranted, to my mind) focus of attention for the muffed catch that scored a run, ended a game, and snapped an eleven-game win streak.

  • On Wednesday, after enduring a full day of ire from fans (to be honest, I doubt he has time to read blogs, but it works too well for this scenario I'm constructing to ignore) he had to come back into pitch for an inning because - with the exception of an old man and a kid playing more roles than Tommy Flanagan - our vaunted starting rotation is about as effective as trying to start a fire in a downpour.

  • Last night, he pitched for a third day in a row. The last time he did so, and for this long (two innings total), was July 4 through 6, 2008, where he ended the streak with two hits, a run, and a blown save over 2/3rds of a inning. This time was even worse: four hits, a walk, and five runs over 2/3rds of an inning to his credit before his manager pulls him...but he's not destined for showers. Instead, he switches places with wonderkind Jonathan Van Every in right field, becoming the first Red Sox pitcher to play the field since nineteen-frickin-eighty, when yours truly was naught but a glimmer in his parents' eyes, the Gerbil finished his tenure in Boston, and the Sox went 83 and 77 for a fifth place finish.
Francona went out of his way to tell the press that a.) he was trying to keep Lopez from getting hurt on the mound and b.) not looking to embarass him by replacing him with a guy who hadn't pitched since high school while c.) preserving the rest (read: more important) pieces of the bullpen for action today, but I would not want to be in Lopez's shoes today.