Monday, August 10, 2009
The Sox signed then 22 year old Junichi Tazawa, thinking it would take him a few years to adjust from dominating the Japanese corporate league to America's minors and eventually the Majors.
After going 9-5 in AA Portland with a 2.57 ERA, he was promoted to AAA Pawtucket on July 27. That's right, he has about two weeks experience at the AAA level. He only made 2 starts for the PawSox, going 0-2 with a 2.55 ERA.
He made his Major League debut in that 15 inning torture Friday night in New York, giving up a homerun to Alex Rodriguez, and taking the loss.
The fact that he's now in the rotation, scheduled to start Tuesday against the Tigers, speaks volumes about the Red Sox' desperation. Remember when people were suggesting a 6 man rotation? Well now the Sox have reached armpit deep into the well to produce Tazawa as a savior.
Nothing against Tazawa, but his insertion to the rotation really depresses me. This team can't hit, has a trio of #5 pitchers who can't go further than 6 inning, and a bullpen that seems to be betting on the other team.
What happens with Smoltz? It seems as though teams like Houston and Texas are considering him. He could go down to AAA Pawtucket and convert to a reliever for the Sox. He could retire. It's pretty much up to him. I think he can be valuable as a reliever, considering how well he went through lineups the first time they saw him.
And the Sox need bullpen help, almost as bad as they need help with everything else.
It was such a pristine and magical moment. Victor Martinez ending the Sox' scoreless streak with a 2 run bomb that gave his new team a 2-1 lead with only 6 outs to record. Even though the trip as a whole could be written off as a failure, it would have ended with some brightness.
But Daniel Bard can't stop giving up homeruns in 1 run games. And to all those overly optimistic Sox fans out there who've only watched this team since 2003, and who are already projecting Bard as Papelbon's replacement, the kid has to come through in a close game for such a theory to be even remotely believable. And to the even more extreme fuckos out there who called into WEEI and didn't want to trade Bard straight-up for Roy Halladay, get a shotgun, learn how to pull the trigger with your toe, and put us all out of your misery.
Then there's Jason Varitek. The one good thing about Varitek is that when he comes to the plate with 2 outs and runners in scoring position, it's a good time to go to the bathroom, or maybe take a trip to the kitchen and fix yourself a sandwich.
Why is Jason Varitek in the lineup more than once or twice a week? That batting average of his has regressed to his norm, a poultry .221. He made that one good play in front of home plate, but it's easy to have the energy to make those plays when you never run the bases, and get to sit on the dugout after striking out so often.
Here's another thing that annoys me about Varitek. He's an easy out, in terms of a pitch count. It took Pettitte and the Yanks 18 pitches to retire him 4 times. That's 4.5 pitches per at-bat.
Fun fact, Mariano Rivera has converted 101 of his last 105 save opportunities.
The future doesn't look much brighter. Although the Sox come home, they face the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers. Edwin Jackson, with his 8-5 record and 2.62 ERA face against Brad Penny.
The Sox are tied with the Rangers for the Wild Card lead. The Sox go down to Arlington next weekend.
Oh yeah, Teixeira, put your fucking bat down. He should get beaned for carrying his Louisville Slugger around the basepath with him. He and A-Rod both had purple lips. What's up with that?
AP Photo/Kathy Willens