Sunday, October 12, 2008
You score 8 runs in a game, you'll probably win. You score 8 runs in a playoff game, it's almost a sure thing that you won't lose. But that's what the Sox did. 9-8.
It's time to face a harsh reality: The two best postseason performers the Sox have - David Ortiz and Josh Beckett - are not performing. Ortiz did walk 3 times last night, but he was 0 for 3, 0 for 6 in the series, and 4 for 23 in the postseason. He's knocked in 1 run. 1 run. Before the 2008 playoffs, Ortiz had 42 RBI in 52 postseason games.
The two playoff games the Red Sox have lost were both Josh Beckett starts. 9.1 innings in 2 starts, 12 earned runs, 5 walks, 5 homeruns, FIVE HOMERUNS, 18 hits. During the regular season, he allowed a homer once every 9.7 innings. Now it's a homer every 1.8 innings. Coming into this postseason, Beckett had allowed 4 homers in 72.2 playoff innings.
The Sox can win without Ortiz and Beckett at their best. They nearly won last night. But it becomes so much harder, and requires so much more from everyone else. The Sox needed amazing nights from Pedroia and Bay, and 4.2 innings of scoreless relief just to force extra innings.
It was a stinging loss because of how many runs the Sox scored, how many opportunities for more they didn't capitalize on, and how well the bullpen pitched.
But what really stings is that Ortiz has become a hole in the middle of the lineup. And if the series goes to 6 games, how much faith can we place in Josh Beckett?
Game 3 Monday afternoon, Jon Lester vs. Matt Garza.
AP Photo/Mark Humphrey
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara
The Bruins are having a little intrasquad competition between goaltenders. Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez will split time until a clear #1 goalie emerges. I contend, however, that a clear #1 emerged last season.
Thomas was selected for the All-Star Game last year. He was 4th in the NHL in save percentage at .921, with a solid 2.44 Goals Against Average. The Bruins already have their #1 goalie. I know it's a shame to waste Fernandez's cap number on a backup, but Thomas is clearly the superior goalie.
Fernandez showed signs of rust last night in Minnesota. He said himself:
"The first and second goal was a good example of what's missing in my game, the sharpness. Those are two goals that shouldn't go. There's no reason for that, regardless if I get a good look or not."
He has only played in 5 games the last year, so maybe he'll settle down. And perhaps the Bruins want to showcase him in order to trade him (or Thomas) and get some help somewhere else.
One place the Bruins don't seem to need much help with is the offense. Down 4-1, they turned this one into a game, getting within one goal with 1:38 still on the clock. Marc Savard had two goals. The last time the Assist Machine had two goals in a game was January 6th, 2006.
Winger Chuck Kobasew is out for an unknown amount of time due to a fractured ankle. He injured it on a dump-in play in Thursday night's season opener.
The Bruins have a few days off before going up to Montreal and playing the Canadiens Wednesday night.
AP Photo/Jim Mone