Sweeping a doubleheader against the Angels would have been difficult to do, especially with Lackey on the mound. But we were very close to doing so. Clay Bucholz pitched very well in his Major League debut. I was most impressed by how he pitched after the big JD Drew error in the 1st inning. Of course, getting to Lackey for 6 runs in the bottom of the 1st made the game much easier for everybody.
The first game was the one we were supposed to lose. We had 23 year old Bucholz against one of the best pitchers in the AL. But we won, and had Beckett going in game 2. It seemed as though we had an opportunity to win a big doubleheader.
Even more surprising than us getting to Lackey was us getting to the Angels bullpen. In game 2, we rallied in the 8th and looked to be on our way to a momentous victory. But we used Okajima in the first game for 1.2 innings and Papelbon for 1.1. Gagne came in to pitch 9th, a 1 run save opportunity. And he fell flat. Again.
What the fuck is wrong with Gagne? The best theory I have is an adjustment problem to not knowing exactly when he will pitch in a game. But that's just a theory. Whatever the problem is, it is killing us.
Gagne's pitched 7 innings for us, and has allowed 13 earned runs. He's allowed a run in 5 of his appearances. He's allowed a hit in each outing. He's allowed multiple hits in 4 of his outings. He has a 16.71 ERA with us, and a WHIP of 2.429. Opponents are hitting .459 off Gagne since he joined the Sox. He's got 2 holds, and 2 blown saves. He is killing us. If he doesn't turn this around, does he even belong on a playoff roster if we make it that far?
Maybe this is part of a trend that started when Gagne was in Texas. Starting on June 23rd, and ending June 24th, Gagne's ERA saw a 1 run increase. He allowed runs in 4 of 11 outings. 7 of those 11 outings were not "clean" innings. He also blew his first save of the season.
Anyway, Wily Mo Pena was traded to Washington for a player to be named later. This marks the end of the WMP experiment. He struck out 148 times in a Red Sox uniform in 432 at-bats.
I know hindsight is 20/20, but this trade of Pena seems to be too little too late. Last year, Pena hit .301 in 276 at-bats. He was showing some potential, with some power, and a decent OBP of .349. We signed Drew in the off-season, had Ellsbury already soaring up to AA, and still had Moss and Murphy in AAA. We didn't really seem to have much of a spot for Pena. Then again, with Drew's injury history, the Sox might have felt as though having a 4th outfielder with some pop would be a good idea.
Sometimes it just seems like the Red Sox lack a big picture, long term plan. I understand trading Arroyo when we did. His stock was high, and Pena seemed like a good opportunity to grab a talented hitter. Last year Pena showed some promise. But he was still a 4th outfielder on this team, any way you cut it. We'll get a player to be named later from the Nationals, but we could have gotten a lot more had we traded Pena before this season.
Doug Mirabelli was placed on the 15 day DL. The Red Sox purchased the contract of Kevin Cash from AAA Pawtucket and he will be the backup while Mirabelli mends his calf-strain. Mirabelli is not expected to be on the DL for long.
The Red Sox also brought up newly acquired Bobby Kielty. He essentially took the place of Wily Mo Pena.
Schilling against Weaver tonight.