Thursday, May 08, 2008


A back and forth struggle between the Tigers and Red Sox last night ended in disappointment as a Julio Lugo error and a not-so-sharp Jonathan Papelbon blew a 1 run lead in the 9th.

Clay "Variance" Buchholz has been one of the most inconsistent pitchers in the rotation, which is to be expected considering his age and experience level. But just look at how much his performances swing up and down from start to start.

Start #1: 5 IP, 3 ER
Start #2: 6 IP, 1 ER
Start #3: 3.2 IP, 7 ER
Start #4: 6 IP, 0 ER
Start #5: 8 IP, 2 ER
Start #6: 5.1 IP, 1 ER
Start #7: 4 IP, 5 ER

With Buchholz pulled after 4, Tavarez came in and generally sucked, giving up 3 runs in an inning, turning a 5-4 game into an 8-4 game. He has been one of the biggest disappointments on this team. None of us expected him to be lights out, but we didn't expect a 7.15 ERA from him either. And unlike kids like Delcarmen or Hansen, Tavarez has no excuse.

But a solo shot by Youkilis in the 6th chipped away at the lead, and Lowell hit a 3 run bomb in the 7th to tie the game at 8-8. Then in the 8th, Pedroia had a pinch hit RBI single to put the Sox ahead. Fun stat: in his career Pedroia is 5 for 7 as a pinch hitter.

Then came the bottom of the 9th inning. As much as Lugo might get the blame for what happened, it's important to remember that Buchholz and Tavarez were the ones who allowed 8 runs. Nevertheless, Lugo's 10th error of the season (he's on pace for 45) was a big one, and in the end it cost the Sox the game.

Even though Jed Lowrie's struggled a bit as of late, is there any doubt that he will be the starting short-stop in 2009?

Josh Beckett vs. Justin Zoolander tonight. Normally this would sound like a fantastic pitcher's duel. But Beckett has a 4.19 ERA and Verlander is sporting a 6.28 ERA and a 1-5 record.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Duane Burleson