Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bad Breaks and Dumb Luck

What did I say last year? What did I say over and over again? What one move that Tito occasionally does is the one that throws me over the edge?

In case you missed it, I'll say it again: Don't pitch your closer more than one inning! The only time it is even remotely acceptable is when you use your closer to get the last out in the eighth and then have them pitch the ninth. But even then it's a dicey move.

Associated Press
But to have Jonathan Papelbon throw the ninth and then come out for the tenth?! Tito, you are the best manager in the history of the Red Sox. I hope you stay here for years to come. But you have got to stop pulling this move.

Was anyone really that surprised that Papelbon lost it in the tenth, and the Sox lost the game 3-1? I wasn't. That's not a dig on Paps, just an acknowledgment of the reality that he is a one-inning closer. And that's not a bad thing. Maybe Tito should have thrown Scott Atchison in the ninth to save Paps for the tenth. He definitely should have brought Atchison out to start the tenth.

All I know is that as Curtis Granderson's homer cleared the wall, I was not all that surprised. And man, did the Yankees do a nice piece of work in getting him. Joel Sherman should be embarrassed for himself after jumping all over Granderson for not getting a winning hit in Game One. All the kid does is track down any ball hit near him and swing a good bat. I doubt too many people are missing Melky Cabrera right about now. I have to wonder if Sherman and Dan Shaughnessy are related, since they both act like fragile snowflakes after a game or two because someone doesn't get a hit.

And speaking of hits, it was nice to see Ortiz get that RBI single in the third. Pettitte left that ball inside and Ortiz was able to turn on it. Those are the kind of pitches he can still get wood on with regularity. Granted, that was his only hit of the night. But it was also Boston's only run, so at least Ortiz was carrying his weight. That should stifle Shaughnessy for a day or two. Meanwhile, Teixiera is still hitless for the Yankees. Someone get Sherman to catch the vapors on this, stat!

Another the Hell does Chan Ho Park throw three scoreless innings?? Especially when he was giving up fly balls left and right that looked ready to carry out of Fenway? I don't think I have even seen such a continual string of dumb luck in my life. If half those balls get hit down the line, they're homers. Instead, they all go to center or just off-center for deep fly outs. Park still sucks. And you know I'm right because Aviv says the same thing in his post today. Park is like the guy in a movie who is way out of his depth and stumbles into a gunfight, gets shot at a thousand times but somehow escapes unscathed. He's still out of his depth; he just got extremely lucky.

If any Sox fans want some positive news out of last night, look no further than the starter. John Lackey had a very solid debut in Boston, despite being the third straight starter for Boston to be saddled with a "ND" on their line. Six innings, three hits, three strikeouts and no runs allowed. It was nice to finally see someone stay on top of New York's lineup.

So the Sox dropped two of three to New York. All three games were won by a two-run lead. All three games saw inconsistency in both the starting rotations and the bullpens. Both games saw a bit of power from the lineups. As always, the matchups between Boston and New York will hinge mostly on key moments because they are the two behemoths in the MLB. I think both squads will be happy to not see each other for a while (the Yanks come back to Fenway for three starting May 7).

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