Monday, August 16, 2010

The Mets Have a Much Better Bullpen Than the Red Sox

Don't tell me you cannot compare bullpens in the National League to the American. Sure, there is the the DH in the AL, and there is that virtually-automatic out with the pitcher in the NL, so in theory it should be harder for the AL and the NL would dominate the bullpen rankings. Not so fast.

Half of the top 10 bullpens by ERA in the entire major leagues are from the AL.

That's right. AL pens have the second (Twins), fifth (Tampa Bay), sixth (Rangers), eighth (Yankees) and tenth (White Sox) BEST earned run averages in all of baseball and they are all playoff-contending teams.

The Boston Red Sox rank 20 out of 30 teams in the majors with a bullpen ERA of 4.36. Yup, they are down with the Mariners, Indians, Orioles, Angels and Royals--not to mention all of the worst teams in the NL like the Pirates, Astros, Brewers, and Diamondbacks.

If there is one thing that is KILLING me this year it's the total lack of getting new, effective pitching in that bullpen. Sure, August waivers are not done yet, but in the meantime the hopes of catching the Rays for the Wild Card spot keep fading--slowly--like a deadly bacteria eating at the core of my being.

Dice K keeps the offense in the game yesterday but is replaced by Manny Delcarmen who serves up a fat, first-pitch meatball to Michael Young for the 3-run shot to left center. Ugh. As if it wasn't enough to have to watch Ellsbury go back on the DL for the third freakin' time on Friday on a play at first base!

I'm not even really talking about Bard or Papelbon here (I'm willing to ignore the Toronto meltdown right now because the flukes will happen). I know they have the talent to get outs. It's the rest of these guys that are killing me. What is it going to take for Theo to make a freaking move with this pen? If run prevention is so damn important, how can you begin to compete with all the playoff contending teams in the AL without some legitimate 6th and 7th inning help?

Out of the 14 teams in the AL, the Red Sox rank 9th... Ugh. It's unreal. It's not easy catching the pitching of this division, I get it. But let's be clear, management is not recognizing its problem with its employees. Take action during the season...

I didn't want to pick on the Mets, but hey, it's at least something positive coming out of Flushing. They rank eleventh with an ERA of 3.77. Omar Minaya is better than Theo with his bullpen signings and picks.

Now that stings.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Someone Has Red Sox Voodoo Dolls, And They Are Working

Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuk... is now on the DL. So is Mike Cameron (but he can stay there for the rest of the year).

That's right. The number 4 hitter. Our clean up guy. The most consistent hitter. The "soul" to Pedroia's "heart" of the team--Kevin Youkilis--is on the 15 day disabled list with a torn thumb muscle and may need surgery. The team is seeking a second medical opinion, but if surgery happens, he is done for the year.


There are not words in the English language to capture the angst produced by the sheer volume of injuries experienced in 2010. Incredu-ludi-crous? Someone in Pelham or Patterson or Port St. Lucie has Red Sox voodoo dolls and knows exactly how to use them. There is no other reasonable explanation for the coincidental circumstances here. Two players on the same team have major thumb injuries in the same season? Two players had rib injuries? Two players have had major foot injuries? There are nagging back injuries and obliques and even mononucleosis!

There are mystical, secretive forces at play. Dare I say, evil forces? Yes. Someone has voodoo dolls with knife-sharp pins. Someone... Anyone with information on the location of these dolls should contact the Massachusetts State Police or Joey McIntyre [If you have not seen the brilliant Masshole spoof of Mad Men, you are missing out].

But don't tell that to Mike Lowell. Lowell is the beneficiary of Youkilis' bad-finger fortune and will get the call to play first base. Last night, Lowell hit the first pitch in the Monster seats while he was getting a standing ovation. It was a great moment, and as Remy said on the NESN broadcast, probably the best moment of the year for the team.

Lowell is a fan favorite, and hell, I love the man's history with this team, but I'm not going to say he should have been playing the whole year. I'm not going to jump on that BS bandwagon that forgot how hard it was for him to run down the first baseline last year or the countless game inning double plays he hit last year. His hip injury was severe and the newly discovered thumb injury in early 2010 was enough to keep GMs across baseball away. He was supposed to go to the Rangers. Now, he's playing first base until Youk can make it back. Go get 'em, Mikey!

In the meantime, keep your (no pun intended) fingers crossed for Youk. We will need him down the stretch.

Lowell, a classy guy, had this to say about taking over for the injured Youk:

I think this is not a day for us to be happy. Our best hitter has a serious injury. I don't think that's ever a good thing. I don't get any joy out of getting playing time when someone gets hurt. With Youkilis out of the lineup, you're not a better team. He has been our most consistent hitter and over the last three years he has arguably been one of the best hitters in the league.
One last note, Josh Beckett has been pitching well.

Yes, he hit a few batters last night, but his pitching was solid overall. He gave up only 3 hits, struck out 8 and went 8 innings before he was thrown out in a bench clearing situation for running on the field after Cleveland threw behind Adrian Beltre. I honestly do not think Beckett thre at anyone intentionally last night. That may sound bias, but I am not afraid to call a guy like Beckett out when I see it.

Beckett is coming back to form.