So this is the good news
1) It only counts as one loss in the standings.
2) It’s the last we’ll see of Joe Nelson
3) Clay Buchholz had a bad night but nothing close to as horrifying as the bad nights we have seen from him in the past.
4) If you are going to get stoned, the guy throwing the rocks might as well be old friend and good all-around guy, Justin Masterson.
And what is the bad news? Well suddenly and without explanation, the offense has gone in the tank. For five games, nobody outside of Victor Martinez has much of anything and last night it seems like we touched new lows. Remember last Summer when the Sox couldn’t muster anything on the road? Well, it looks like the sequel to that horror film is now playing on NESN HD.
Heading the list of problems is Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. Pedroia looks like he is ready to circle the drain as he is buried in his worst downturn since April of 07. Pedro’s OPS has dropped 130 points since he made his “Laser Show” comments on May 4th and with an OPS of just .756, Pedro is encroaching on “replacement player” status.
Meanwhile, Ortiz has simply fallen apart since he was named the AL Player of the Month for May. Factoring in last night’s 0-3, Ortiz is now 3-26 this month and to this eye, Ortiz looks every bit as confused as he was in April. He simply had no shot last night and that was off a guy who was about as kind to lefties as anyone in the American League. If you don’t believe me, here are the numbers. Lefties came into last night hitting .370 off Justin Masterson yet Ortiz got blown away twice and he walked away from the second one with those same sunken shoulders that we saw so much in April. Clearly, Papi’s May was an anomaly but I didn’t think the correction would be this severe. Like I said a few days ago, “don’t go cutting Mike Lowell just yet.”
Clay Buchholz clearly wasn’t in top form last night but I will say this …. If that is Clay Buchholz on a bad night, we have come a LONG way. Folks, he got off to a rocky start with a couple first inning walks, but after that, Buchholz was pretty solid. After all, three runs in seven innings is often plenty enough to get a win and in the case of last night, one of those runs wasn’t even Clay’s fault. That being said, I am a bit worried about Clay’s K totals. Just one was registered last night and Clay’s ability to put hitters away is becoming something of a concern.
* I think that will be the last we see of Joe Nelson. I predict Robert Manuel will be called up from Pawtucket today or tomorrow and Nelson will be released. Manuel, a right-hander, has had an excellent year for the Pawsox and perhaps he can give this pen a little shot in the arm.
* Boof was pitiful last night but you can’t cut the cord just yet. After all, it was his first time on a MLB mound since the end of 2008. That being said, I just scratched him off my “emergency starter” list.
* Big hat tip to Justin Masterson who was awesome last night. As stated earlier, Lefties have been killing him this season but Boston’s southpaws were just 2-14 on Wednesday. And even more impressive, Masterson got 17 groundball outs. If he can keep the ball on the ground like that and just be passable against lefties, he will make a lot of money in baseball. I will be rooting for him.