Thursday, October 1, 2009


Look, I know the wild card is clinched. But that's no excuse for basically lying down for a Jays team that hasn't won 90+ games since Bill Clinton's first year in office.

Roy Halladay is a hell of a pitcher, and the comment above is not intended to take away from his stellar performance last night. But the Sox rolled out the B-squad last night and Halladay chewed them up. Normally, not such a big deal. But the Sox are now riding a six-game losing streak with four games left until the post-season and I was thinking maybe it'd be nice to ride a winning streak into October instead. I'd have to do more research, but I'd wager that riding a big losing streak into the post-season tends to be a poor thing for the team in question.

More concerning than that, however, was the poor performance of Tim Wakefield. And now questions have to be raised about his ability to pitch going forward. He left after just three innings, allowing seven hits and five runs in the process. He has a bulging disc in his back that has been bothering him for a couple of months. At his age, you have to face the possibility that Wakes may not be able to overcome a physical condition like that. But that's a discussion for later. Right now, though, the immediate thing it creates is a discussion about the post-season roster.

Wakes is the kind of guy you can have as a starter/spot-starter/long-reliever/reliever in the post-season. But the important role would be the spot-starter/long-reliever. If he can't go, who fills that spot? Right now if Wakes can't go, I say it's either Byrd or Bowden. That's a hell of a choice to have to make. Either guy can give you a solid outing or bury you in the blink of an eye.

The upside is that his health issues do not affect the starting rotation. It's Lester, Beckett, Buchholz and Daisuke until further notice. All we need now are for these guys to produce.

I don't what the final four games hold for us. I'm guessing Tito wants to rest the regular gang as much as possible. And I get that and support that plan 100%. I'd just like to see the Sox win a couple of games to close out the year and head into the post-season on a positive note. Going in on a losing streak makes me nervous as hell.


Justin Dejardins said...

Spot on bro. I hate to say it, but you if you think of teams like 07 Rockies and 04 Red Sox, both were teams red hot heading into the post season and both went to the World Series. I never second guess Francona, but a little momentum never hurt anyone! I think with the 4 healthy arms we have in front, its not going to much matter whether Wake is healthy for his "spot spart" or long relief. We will get 6-8 innings out of our starters, then bring on Wagner, Okajima, Papelbon, and call it a series!! Thanks keep up the good work! -JD

Dave said...

Thanks, Justin.

I hope we get that kind of production from the starters as well. If we do, then the Sox stand an excellent shot at winning the whole thing.

But momentum counts for something, with pitchers as well as the lineup. And I'd love to see Lester and the rest put up a 'W' each before facing the Angels.

Aviv said...

I don't have hard core evidence, but I think if you look at it, you'll find the momentum issue to be inconclusive. Anecdotally, the 2006 Tigers and Cardinals both stumbled down the stretch and made the World Series, as did the 2000 Yankees. The 2001 Mariners and 2006 Yankees are examples of teams that entered the playoffs pretty hot and failed to win it. I just don't think a determination can be made one way or the other.

Dave said...

That's all true. Still, I'd rather the Sox not ride a 10-game loss streak into the Angels series. Obviously, you have a different POV. :)