Thursday, June 30, 2005
Wednesday's win was a necesary one. It was made necesary because of two bad losses the days before. Monday's loss was embarassing and Tuesday's was painful.
The Man of the Game on Monday is Kevin Millwood who went 6 scoreless innings allowing only 3 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 6.
The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Arroyo: 0.4 - 6.2 IP, 7 R, 5 ER
Bellhorn: 0.1 - Error
Mueller: 0.1 - 0 for 3
Varitek: 0.1 - 0 for 3
Millar: 0.1 - 0 for 3
Nixon: 0.1 - 0 for 4
Ramirez: 0.1 - 0 for 4
I had the unfortunate pleasure of seeing Tuesday's loss first hand. This was just a bad game for several players. Miller didn't pitch well, Timlin didn't do well either, and Foulke had one of the worst outings I've seen him have. Renteria had 2 errors to go along with his 1 for 4 day.
The Man of the Game is Travis Hafner who went 3 for 5 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a Grand Slam Homerun. He knocked in 6 men and scored twice.
The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Timlin: 0.1 - 1.2 IP, 2 ER (allowed by Foulke to score)
Miller: 0.1 - 5.2 IP, 5 ER
Foulke: 0.8 - 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, HR
More on Foulke later.
The Sox were able to put it all together on Wednesday, thankfully. A nice start from Wakefield, solid bullpen work, and timely hitting combined for a nice 5-2 victory to avoid the sweep.
The Man of the Game is Tim Wakefield who went 7 and gave up 2 runs. He has been our best pitcher the past 2 weeks I'd say.
BOLSTERING THE BULLPEN
We can beat Philadelphia and the other mediocre teams in the Majors with our bullpen in its current state of disarray. However, I don't think we can win the World Series with the pen composed as it is. I think that we can improve it three ways.
1: Bronson Arroyo as a set-up man.
Arroyo is very good in the bullpen. I think he could be a good set-up pitcher and replace Allan Embree. I know Embree is a lefty, but he has never been that outstanding against lefthanded hitting since coming to Boston. Arroyo is not very good against lefties, but with Myers out there able to get out the tough lefties like Matsui, I don't think we should worry that much if Arroyo is our set-up pitcher.
2: Foulke taken out of the closers role.
On Wednesday, Francona used Timlin in a save situation. He wasn't lights out, but he got the job done. The simple fact of the matter is that Foulke has been less than what he should be as a closer. In save situations, his ERA is over 11. In non-save situations, it is around 2. I think until he can consistently throw the fastball at 88-90, Foulke should be relegated to a set-up role and Timlin should close. Timlin has closed in the past. He's recorded a save every year of his career except for 2002. He has 117 career saves. Foulke has 189. Timlin had 31 saves for the 4th place Blue Jays in 1996, had 10 between Toronto and Seattle in 97, had 19 for the Mariners in 1998, 27 in 1999 for Baltimore, and 12 in 2000 between the Orioles and Cardinals. He isn't a long term solution at closer, but I think he can throw half a season at the position and releive Foulke of some pressure while he tries to get his mechanics back.
3: Outside help.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Red Sox need to add some guys out there. I think Danys Baez would be perfect and could close games. If the Indians fall off, Bob Wickman would be a good candidate for the same job. The Yankees just released two pitchers who have had good careers out of the pen but have struggled this season. Paul Quantrill could be a decent hit-or-miss acquisition and in my mind could be just as good as Matt Mantei as a middle releiver.
SCHILLING JUST FINE IN REHAB START
5 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 3 K, 78 pitches, 54 strikes
Schilling will face Charlotte again on Monday in Pawtucket (it's sold out already) if there are no problems recovering from this start. Schilling left with a 3-1 lead but the PawSox pen couldn't hold it and Pawtucket lost 5-4.
If his July 4th rehab start goes well, he can either make another one on Saturday against the Sky Chiefs in Syracuse, or come back to the rotation and start against Baltimore the weekend before the All-Star Break.
CELTICS WITH A VERY GREEN DRAFT
The Celtics didn't make any moves the day of the draft. They were patient and watched and waited as a very good player fell to them at 18. Gerald Green out of a Texas academy was projected as the 3rd to 7th overrall pick but he fell to us at 18th overrall. He was ranked by ESPN as the #1 shooting guard in the draft and the best high schooler as well. I think he'll fit in well with the youngsters on the team. But I also think we need a veteran leader on the team to keep the younger players in line. I love Pierce, but he isn't the leader we need.
The Celtics got Ryan Gomes out of Providence College with the 20th pick of the 2nd round (50th overrall). Three picks later they got Guard Orien Greene out of Louisianna-Lafayette. Overall it looks like a good draft. I still don't think we're contenders for an NBA title, but in 3 or 4 years, we very well might be.