Thursday, August 16, 2007

DiceK gives up so many runs even the Rays bullpen can't blow it!

It's amazing how playing against a team like the Devil Rays changes your perception of what's good. Anything short of a sweep against the Rays feels like a failure. The sox managed to eventually score some runs off the starter Sonnanstine and almost won another game off of the weakness of Tampa Bay's bullpen. Fortunately, the Yankees dropped their series to the Orioles after hitting a 3 run home run in the 9th to put the game into extra innings. This two game losing streak may be indicative that the Yankees are cooling off once again. Both Yankee losses must be disheartening given the 12-0 pounding they took in the second game and then losing after a dramatic ninth inning comeback and hopefully this will carry over into their next few games. At this point I almost feel like a Yankee loss is better than a Red Sox win as I'd prefer it if the Yankees didn't win the wild card. Facing and losing to the Yankees in the Post Season would feel like a colossal failure after dominating them in the standings all year long.

Sox Pitching
Daisuke had a pretty terrible outing, his worst since early July. He's still adjusting and he's put up some solid numbers in his last few starts, so that's not what concerns me. The troubling part about this game was that he got beat up by the Devil Rays. Daisuke only had one clean inning and most of his others looked shaky right from the start.

Julian Tavarez would take over and pitch a clean inning and got into a bit of trouble in his second inning of work before handing off to Mike Timlin.

Mike Timlin wrapped up the eighth and threw a clean ninth and has looked extremely strong lately. Outside of Timlin's meltdown in Seattle back on August 3rd where he took the loss, he's been light's out in his recent appearances and could become a key contributor if Eric Gagne isn't as reliable as we had hoped.

Sox Hitting
The sox did the same thing all three games of this series. The Tampa Bay starter gave a good start and was pulled after 6-7 innings despite their lights out performance and the bullpen would come into the game and efficiently give up whatever runs were necessary to ensure a loss. It had worked in the first two games of the series, why not the third? Unfortunately, Daisuke gave up one too many and the sox bats couldn't pull off the late inning heroics despite both Ortiz and Manny coming to bat in the ninth with the opportunity to win/tie the game. This is another episode in a disturbing trend where Big Papi and Manny both seem to have lost their ability to get the big hit when it really matters. Our late game heroics have been coming from the likes of Mike Lowell, Coco Crisp, Jason Varitek and even Julio Lugo this season.

Kevin Youkilis has not looked like himself all series long going 1 for 13 with 6 strikeouts and no walks over the course of this series. All three stats are astounding given that he's been a consistent hitter all year who is good at drawing walks and rarely strikes out. Dustin Pedroia, JD Drew and David Ortiz also went hitless today although Ortiz was able to draw 2 walks.

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