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.