Saturday, June 04, 2005
What an embarrasing performance. Bad defense, poor clutch hitting, and absolutely no bullpen pitching beyond Myers. Furthermore, Francona must didn't seem to be thinking too clearly with some of his decisions both before the game and during it.
Why did he decide to rest Renteria and Varitek on the same day? This meant that Vazquez and Shoppach would come up back-to-back. Essentially, there was a built in 0 for 8 to the lineup. The one hit Vazquez got was a flukey one. Why did Francona eventually pinch hit for Shoppach, but not Vazquez? It just seemed really weird.
Allan Embree is no longer a pitcher. Last season he was a fastball pitcher who could blow it by people at 94-96 MPH and mix in a few sliders to keep batters honest. Now, he has no fastball. It comes in at 88-91 MPH. He can't blow people away. Something is wrong with him and I don't know if it will ever be fixed. Before the Red Sox address the 1B situation, they need to resolve the bullpen problem. Because even if they reincarnate Lou Gehrig and play him at first, this team cannot win a playoff series without a bullpen.
Here's a question. What does Ramon Vazquez contribute to the team? He can't hit, run, and he's an average fielder. He's a pinch bunter, basically. The need for a quality backup infielder also needs to be addressed if Francona wants to give 2 or 3 players a day off everyday.
Where is Kevin Youkilis? He can play 1B, 2B, 3B, DH and can pinch hit. Yet he hasn't see much of the light of day. Thankfully Millar is hitting just as we go into interleague play and he goes to the bench where he has belonged for a month.
The Man of the Game is Garrett Anderson who went 4 for 6 with 2 singles, a triple, and a homerun. He scored once and knocked in 4.
The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Embree: 0.6 - 0.1 IP, 4 ER
Mantei: 0.3 - 0.1 IP, 4 ER
Ortiz: 0.1 - 0 for 5 - 3 K
Rubber game Sunday afternoon between Jarrod Washburn and Wade Miller.
The US beat Costa Rica 3-0 in a World Cup qualifying match.