The Baseball Gods Hand the Red Sox Some Restitution

Was that supposed to make up for Monday night? Was that the baseball gods, realizing that they had overshot, making restitution to Red Sox fans? Or was that just a dead cat bounce? After all, a team with a $165 million dollar salary can’t lose every day, can it?

Whew, that was close. Folks, we were plumbing lows that we had not seen since 2006 and quite frankly, this stock looked like it was about to break. And a quick glance at the chart shows that if the stock had broken, the next level of support might be where it traded in 2001 at the moment Jimy Williams got fired. Yes, it looked that bleak.

But as good as last night’s comeback was, it solves nothing. Because it’s painfully clear that this team is still in big trouble. And unless the club starts getting better starting pitching and better defense immediately, it won’t be long before we forget Justin Chamberlin’s big meltdown and Hermida’s winning knock off Mo.

* To be fair, Josh Beckett didn’t do a very good job last night but he wasn’t awful. Scutaro screwed him big time in the second with a huge error that cost two runs and fifteen unnecessary pitches.  Marco makes that play and who knows, Beckett might have made it through six. But he didn’t and Beckett couldn’t make it through five against a pretty thin Yankee lineup. Granted, the weather sucked and New York didn’t hit Beckett hard but his balls:strikes ratio was not good and he just didn’t look very sharp. And now, to complicate matters, Beckett might have a back issue. A three week trip to the DL is just what the Sox need right now.   

* While Beckett struggled, the entire bullpen chipped in to give the Sox a chance. It wasn’t pretty, especially when it came to MDC, but the pen did its job. My guess is Pap and MDC will not be available tonight and Wake is a “maybe” so the pressure is on Buchholz to pitch six plus and I guess Bard will handle a close, if necessary.

* As far as the offense goes, Youkilis had another big night with two hits and two walks. And Drew stayed hot with two more hits, the latter a double of Justin that really got Boston’s 8th inning rally juiced. Finally, Ortiz has become unconscious at the place. Two more hits last night has got his slugging average above .500 and even though it is early, his name is now in the conversation for the AL player of the month.   

* Interesting thing on Drew ….. he saw only ten pitches last night during his four at bats. I have mentioned how much more aggressive Drew is this year and it seems to be working. His “first pitch strike percentage” is way up this year and that indicates he is jumping on first pitches. The league should be making adjustments soon. We’ll see if Drew responds accordingly.

*Does life get any better than watching Justin Chamberlin melt? I used to think nothing would top a blown save from Rivera but I have to say, a Chipmunk implosion is now tops for me. Between the tiny squinty eyes, the nut-filled cheeks, and the out-of-control Tourettes ….. I can’t get enough of watching Justin fail.

* This is rich. So very rich. Joe Girardi on skipping Javy Vazquez: “I needed Javy to plug my bullpen …..”

* I love the fact that the Yankees played that game under protest, evidently peeved that Beckett might have left the game with a trumped up injury. Word has it that the Yankee appeal was completed early this morning by the law firm of Shearman and Sterling and the 200 page brief will be dropped off at the league office this afternoon. What a bunch of tools ……  

* Marco Scutaro had some night. An error that led to two runs in the second and another rerror in the ninth that opened the door for the Yankees to rally. Throw in a 1-5 at the plate and Marco easily wins the free trip to visit coastal Alabama during the All-Star break. By the way, Scutaro is just six for his last thirty-one so Mrs. Ellsbury, if you are reading this ….. get well soon.   

* Jeremy Hermida …… 22 RBI on just 20 hits. If you are going to hit .227 you might as well make them count.

* FARM REPORT: Last night’s big star was Felix Doubront who threw seven shutout innings for Portland. Doubront, did give up seven hits, but he struck out six and allowed no walks. His ERA now sits at 2.51. Now Doubront is a holdover at AA after having a pretty respectable year at Portland a year ago but he was held back to work on his control. Given his strong start this season, he should be promoted in the not so distant future.

* So the Sox are back home tonight for a two-gamer with the Twins. Tonight its Buch and Scott Baker and that should set up well for the Sox. Unfortunately, they draw Liriano tomorrow and that didn’t go well earlier this season. It goes without saying that the Sox really need these two as they head out for Philly and Tampa on Friday.

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