Monday, August 20, 2007
Sox split 4 with the Angels at Fenway
The sox split four games with the Angels at Fenway park and there's quite a bit to talk about. Clay Bucholz made his first major league start and got his first major league win. Eric Gagne managed to throw away another game for the Red Sox. The Sox bats seemed to wake up for the first 3 games of this series and then posted one measly run in the finale.
Clay Bucholz has been a highly touted prospect all season long and got his first taste of the big leagues in the day game of the day/night double header on Friday. He pitched reasonably well all things considered. He pitched against the offensively powerful Angels, but he caught them at an excellent time as they flew in from Toronto the night before and had to play a double header the following day. So I would guess that that evens out. The sox bats took the Pressure off Bucholz early by posting six runs on John Lackey in the first. Bucholz had some trouble with giving up leadoff walks/hits, was helped on multiple occasions by double plays, seemed to struggle with control at times, only pitched six innings and gave up four runs to keep the Angels in the game; but all in all I still felt this wasn't a bad showing for his first outing in the Majors. He'll likely benefit from some more time in Pawtucket and could be a strong contributor for the sox in the future.
Eric Gagne managed to do it again. The entire town of Boston seems to have collectively lost it's patience with the struggling reliever who once again gave up the lead and probably the win. The only people that haven't lost their patience seems to be the Red Sox themselves as Gagne was put in the game with a 3-1 defecit in the final game of the Angels series where he again allowed multiple runners on base before closing out the inning. I would just love to have something to cling to so I could defend Gagne. One situation where he comes out, throws a clean inning and heads back to the dugout. Since he's been in a Sox uniform he just has not been able to deliver on this for us and it's starting to concern me.
Curt Schilling had a rough outing in his start. Fortunately, the sox bats provided him with 10 runs to smooth out the rough edges and this less impressive start by Schilling got swept under the rug as he took home the win. Since his return from the DL Curt has put up a 4.50 ERA, not terrible, but not that great either.
Julian Tavarez put up a solid 6 IP 2H 2 ER in the finale which would unfortunately go to waste as the sox bats were unable to produce the runs to capitalize.
Kevin Youkilis' slump continues going 2 for 14 in the series with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk.
This upcoming series in Tampa will hopefully settle the Red Sox down. The road trip continues to a 4 game series with another division cellar dweller in the White Sox, then an off day and then a three game series in the Bronx. The Yankees will take 3 games against the Angels on the West Coast, an off day, and then 4 games against Detroit in Detroit before meeting the Sox in the bronx. This is an excellent opportunity for the Red Sox to make up for some lost ground by playing the AL's worst while the Yankees play the AL's best.