Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I don't think it's too much of an overstatement to think that Wednesday night's 6-1 defeat of Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays is the biggest win of the Red Sox season so far.
For all the Varitek worshipers out there who thought young guys like Buchholz would struggle with Victor Martinez behind the plate, suck on this: Buchholz has a 1.89 ERA in his last 3 starts, all with Martinez catching.
How nice is it to have a productive Jason Bay and a power-hitting David Ortiz in this lineup. Without these guys, the batting order looks like something you'd see in the NL. But with these guys hitting well, it becomes truly fierce. Ortiz hit his 19th HR, Bay his 27th, and Martinez also hit his 19th.
Buchholz's 6 quality innings, and the offensive production against Halladay not only won the game, it helped save the bullpen. Papelbon was unavailable, so building a nice cushion was essentially necessary.
The Sox go for the sweep Thursday night as Jon Lester faces 5-1 Brett Cecil. Sweet name.
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese
Tim Wakefield is healthy enough to pitch, just not healthy enough to field. Both his pitching and fielding will apparently be tested Friday in a rehab start for AAA Pawtucket. He's been throwing side sessions with Victor Martinez (George Kottaras is on the DL), and the pitching's been fine. He just can't move off the mound.
The loss of Tim Wakefield might be one of the most underrated injuries in baseball this year. An All-Star pitcher, with 11 wins at the break (he's still 2nd on the team in wins) goes down, and it's supposed to hurt a club. The Sox are 13-4 in Wakefield's starts. He was also averaging 6.4 innings per start, helping to preserve the bullpen.
The Sox are going to need one of three things to make the playoffs: either Tim Wakefield or Daisuke Matsuzaka return and pitch effectively, or Clay Buchholz gets as good as Jon Lester.