Saturday, October 10, 2009
ALDS Game 2: Boston Red Sox 1, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4
When I woke up yesterday morning, I had really hoped the complete and total lack of hitting was just a one-time failure; a product of really good pitching and a really bad night. This morning, I'm starting to wonder if we're in some sort of terrible dream, where those at-bats that do turn into base runners are few and far between; where rallies are devoured by a ravenous beast wearing a big, haloed A.
So the offense is in one of the worst-timed slumps possible and it seems for the moment that they won't be scoring a lot of runs in their traditional high-explosive style. In fact, looking back to September 21, when the Red Scare lost that game against Kansas City and the slide that landed the Sox firmly in the 2009 Wild Card slot really started, it doesn't seem like they've hit that well against above average pitching. Maybe this slump is a long time coming; maybe now that they're once again up against the wall they'll start to click again and we'll all be laughing about these first two steps down the road to a champagne-less ending to October.
However, regardless of what happens when the series resumes in Boston mid-day Sunday, I think these first two games have proven that Tito needs a faster hook on his starters. Elite veterans though Lester and Beckett may be, the lack of run support demands perfection from the starting pitcher, which becomes a smaller and smaller possibility as the game goes on. It's true that the bullpen isn't always perfect either, but changing things up before tight situations get really tight - when the starter gives up three or four runs - may be the only way to win right now.