Saturday, October 08, 2005


Is it too early to look back on the 2005 season? No. Much like a murder investigation, it's always good to look at the evidence as soon as possible.

Player by Player Review:

SP - Tim Wakefield
Wake had exactly the kind of season that was expected of him. He went 16-12 in 33 starts, with an ERA of 4.12. He led the team in innings with 225.1, and complete games with 3. He pretty much was what was expected of him. As a #4 starter, his numbers would be adequate, but he was often the best starter on the team. Which says alot about how bad our pitching was.

SP - Bronson Arroyo
This was supposed to be the year that Arroyo broke out as a top pitcher. At first, this was what happened. Early on he was stellar. In March and April, he was 3-0 with a 3.69 ERA. He even threw a near no-hitter against the Tigers. This good start would fizzle though. His ERA for every month after April was over 4. For the last two months of the season, his ERAs were 5.40 and 4.85. Overrall, he was another #4 starter with a 14-10 record and an ERA of 4.51. He was able to eat alot of innings, throwing 205.1.

SP - Matt Clement
Clement started off the season as our Ace. He went 10-2 before the All-Star break. After that, however, he was 3-4. He was yet another #4 pitcher going 13-6 with an ERA of 4.57. He was a gamble pickup and he paid off at first, but not over the long run.

SP - David Wells
Wells was our fourth #4 starter. This pickup was more of a gamble and I'd have to say we got about the best you could have hoped for. He got injured early on but he didn't break down as was feared by many. He also pitched well enough to win Game 2 of the ALDS and won that Friday game against the Yankees that gave us a chance to win the division. A chance that was squandered. He went 15-7 with an ERA of 4.45. Not bad numbers for a #4 starter, but again, he was our fourth such type of pitcher.

SP/RP/Closer - Curt Schilling
Nobody knew how the ankle would affect Curt's pitching ability. But we all knew how his extra weight would. I'm shocked there wasn't a ton of criticism for Curt after he showed up to training camp out of shape. Actually, I'm not shocked. Curt's an All-American, corn fed, white guy and people like Pedro Martinez are gerri-curl sporting, hispanics. Weird how that works out, eh?

Anyway, with the absence of Pedro and Derek Lowe and no signing of a legitimate Ace, Curt was supposed to be our best starting pitcher this year. In my opinion, he was our worse. This was compounded by the fact that Francona stuck with Curt in games long after Curt had lost it.

Schilling had a weird season going from starter to injured to closer to starter. As a starter, he made 11 starts. He went 4-5 with an ERA of 5.87. He gave up 96 hits, and 16 walks in 69 innings (1.62 WHIP). As a releiver he was slightly better. He went 4-3 with an ERA of 5.18 in 21 releif appearances. He made 9 Saves in 11 Opportunities. His WHIP was 1.27. Even though he wasn't a great releif pitcher, he was definately better out in the pen. As a starter, he was a #5 at best.

SP - Wade Miller
You get the feeling that Theo is a gambling man? All of these additions to our rotations were essentially are crap shoots. Wade Miller was no exception. Miller did not work out as well as Wells or Clement though. He only made 16 starts going 4-4 with an ERA of 4.95. His season was plagued by injury and then the Red Sox were plagued by his healthiness.

RP/Closer - Mike Timlin
Mike Timlin was thrust into a role in which he did not belong. He was forced to pick up the slack for Foulke AND Embree. He was sent to the mound 81 times, a new Red Sox record for appearances. He was a true workhorse for us. He had 24 Holds, 13 Saves and 7 Blown Saves. He won 7 games and lost 3. He had an ERA of 2.24 but he allowed far too many inherited runners to score. He's given us 229 regular season appearances the past 3 years with us. Without him, our bullpen would have completely collapsed.

RP/SP - Jeremi Gonzalez
The fact that Gonzalez is 8th in innings pitched for us tells you how bad our bullpen was. Gonzalez made 25 releif appearances and 3 spot starts. His ERA was an abysmal 6.11. At first he was used in situations that mattered. Too many situations. And then he was relegated to mop up duty and dire emergencies.

Closer - Keith Foulke
Perhaps the biggest dissapointment of the year. Foulke struggled with injuries all season and as a result, left us without a dependable closer. He was only able to make 15 of 19 Save Opportunities and his absence really screwed up the bullpen, dumping alot of extra work on Timlin and forcing us to use more kids in tough situations.

RP - John Halama
Another gamble that we lost on. Halama made 29 releif appearances and 1 spot start. He had an ERA of 6.18 and was essentially ineffective.

RP - Mike Myers
Myers was a part of our championship team, then we didn't sign him, then we traded for him. He was actually one of the few pitchers that did his job. He was used as a situational lefty and was pretty succesful in this role. He made 65 appearances for 37.1 IP.

RP/SP - Jon(athan) Papelbon
Papelbon was one of the pleasant surprises to emerge from the Red Sox minor league system this year. At season's end, he was probably the most reliable pitcher on the staff. He only made 17 appearances (3 of which were starts) but his ERA was 2.65. In 34 innings, he gave up 33 hits and 17 walks (1.47 WHIP). He struck out 34. Without him, I don't know if we make the playoffs.

RP - Matt Mantei
Another roll of the dice that came up snake eyes. Mantei was horrible for us. He allowed about twice as many baserunners as he threw innings and his ERA of 6.49 was one of the highest on the team, which says alot considering how crappy our pitching staff was.

RP - Chad Bradford
Bradford was Mantei's replacement. He was used as a situational righty and did his job nicely. He was a Dan Duquette type pickup off the scrap heap and he did well. He made 31 appearances for us and had an ERA of 3.86

RP - Mike Stanton
I'm surprised we didn't try to get him earlier in the year. For us, Mike threw one inning allowing 1 hit, and striking out 1. I'm really surprised we didn't attempt to get him sooner. It couldn't have hurt the bullpen too much.

RP - Lenny DiNardo
Shockingly, the Red Sox didn't utilize DiNardo very much this season. He only made 7 releif outings and 1 spot start but he performed very well. He finished with an ERA of 1.84.

RP - Manny Delcarmen
Manny Delcarmen was another nice surprise. Although his lack of control prevented him from being used in big situations, he did give us 9 innings of 3.00 ERA pitching which is quite a contribution compared to what guys like Matt Mantei and Jeremi Gonzalez gave us.

RP - Blaine Neal
Just another demonstration of desparation. 8 innings pitched, 8 earned runs.

RP - Chad Harville
Scrapings from the bottom of the well. 7 innings, 5 ERs

RP - Mike Remlinger
We picked him up 2 years too late. 6.2 IP, 11 ER

RP - Craig Hansen
We brought him up 2 years too early. He demonstrated some good pitches, but not good pitching. He had difficulty keeping calm and throwing strikes in tough counts. When his pitch count rose and he fell behind in the count, opponents would sit on and devastate his fastball.

RP - Abe Alvarez
2.1 IP, 4 ER

RP - Clay Meredith
2.1 IP, 7 ER. Yet another crappy short term attempt at a solution.

RP - Scott Cassidey
0.2 IP, 3 ER

RP - Matt Perisho
0.0 IP, 1 ER, an ERA of infiniti. Matt Perisho really sums up the bullpen and the entire pitching staff. Inability to get an out, inability to avoid giving up runs.

RP - Alan Embree
Another huge dissapointment. Embree gave the Red Sox 37.2 innings of 7.65 ERA of work. He was essentially worthless but was still used too frequently in tough spots. The lack of Embree as a dependable set-up man really hurt this team.

Pitching Summary:
The lack of quality pitching really hurt the team. Last year we won the Series because of our pitching. We had Pedro, Schilling, Lowe, Wakefield, and Arroyo as a starting rotation. That's two #1s, a solid #2 in Lowe and a great #4 and 5 at the end of the rotation. Our bullpen was amazing too. We had Foulke at the end, set-up by Embree and Timlin with Myers used as a situational lefty.

Overrall, our pitching had an ERA was 4.76 as a team. That is absolutely terrible. The Red Sox as a team blew 17 Saves. That is abysmal. Think about it, had we converted just one of those Saves, we would have won the division and played LA instead of Chicago, and we would have played the first two games in Fenway.


In no particular order...

Wakefield didn't come up big enough for us. We needed to completely shut down the White Sox in order to assure victory. He pitched decently, but not amazingly, which is what we ended up needing.

An inability to hit young pitching and guess how old Bobby Jenks is: 24

El Duque still owns us. When I saw him warming in the pen, I cringed. Even with the bases loaded with 0 outs, I wasn't confident.

Johnny Damon and Edgar Renteria did NOTHING. A combined 1 for 8 to set up the big bats in the lineup isn't going to cut it.

Pulling Papelbon despite his crusing through the game. 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 2 K.

Jason Varitek unable to get a big hit.

Bill Mueller not able to get a hit the entire series.

These reasons and more are why the Red Sox lost Game 3, which is why we're out of the post-season after one round for the first time since 1998. For the first time since 1995, we've been swept out of the post-season.

I really hope that whoever plays Chicago, either LA or New York, will sweep the White Sox. I'm getting sick of Ozzie Guillen and even though the White Sox outplayed us and deserved to win, I still think they're an overrated team.