That was just what the doctor ordered. Coming off a horrible loss and another sobering defeat, the Sox really needed an off-day. It turned out they got the next best thing ….. a night to tee off against senior citizen Jamie Moyer. And like a prize gather coming off a tough loss and facing a tomato can, the Sox scored a first round knockout without breaking a sweat.
After watching Jamie Moyer in the first inning last night I had one thought …. How frigging bad in the NL that this guy two-hit the Bravos a month ago and came into the game with an ERA under 4.00? I realize last night could have been an off night for the old man, but this is a guy who throws 82-83 with a AAA breaking pitch. To think that he gets NL hitters out with his change/curve combo makes me think that MLB talent is as segregated as the 1968 Boston School System. (Yes, I read Common Ground and so should you!)
So the Sox pounded an old man last night. Big friggin deal. It beats getting locked down and it’s encouraging the offense didn’t miss the opportunity to go big, but I can’t get too excited by the explosion. So I am still on David Ortiz watch. And I am not going to use last night to add any more emphasis to my claim that Victor Martinez may be the most brutal assailant of left-handed pitching in all of baseball. Instead, I will just say that perhaps a little home cooking is what the Sox needed. Hopefully, the spell has been broken and the Sox offense is ready to feast at home.
As far as John Lackey goes, it is pretty hard to glean much from a game where you are spotted a five-run lead after one and a nine-run lead after two. That being said, often times, when handed such largess, a starting pitcher losses focus and manages to scuffle his way through five “hack” innings. Lackey didn’t do that last night. Instead, he attacked, didn’t walk anyone, gave the pen a night off and perhaps gained a bit of confidence. Lackey has now strung together two pretty good starts, albeit against weak offenses, and if he can make it three in a row with a strong start against the Snakes next week, I might be able to put him on review for an upgrade. As it stands right now, I have rated as a “neutral.”
* My favorite Sox news of the day centers around the callup of Daniel Nava from Pawtucket to replace Jeremy Hermida, who was DL’d yesterday with five broken ribs (That brings the total number of broken LF ribs to ten). Nava is a great feel-good story who was once toiling in the California Independent League, having failed to attract any interest coming out of Santa Clara. In fact, he didn’t even have Santa Clara’s interest coming out of high school. Instead, he went to Santa Clara as a civilian, served as the equipment manager, transfered to a JUCO, raked at San Mateo JC and then returned to Santa Clara where he mashed.
Despite this success, Nava didn’t draw any MLB attention which is somewhat surprising as more than 1500 players are selected in the amatuer draft. Not willing to hang up his spikes, Nava went to the Indy leagues, raked some more and the Sox took a flier. Well, he has hit everywhere he has landed in the Sox system and now sports a very healthy AAA slash of .294/.364/.492. At 27, Nava may not be a “tooly” prospect, but this looks like one of those guys who was just born to hit. And by all accounts, he is one of the most humble and nice guys you will ever meet. Good luck Daniel. I have my fingers crossed that you will “kill” and turn this opportunity into a MLB payday, if not in Boston, then somewhere else.
Word now comes from Rosenthal, The Dwarf at Fox, that Mike Lowell to Texas, Minny or Anaheim is in the later stages. For Lowell’s sake, I hope something happens quickly. The Sox really need the roster spot and Lowell deserves to go out as a player and not a viewer. On that note, I was glad to see Lowell get that home run trot last night. He clearly has been a fan favorite and it was nice that he had that moment, which could be his last at Fenway.
* Joe Nelson was DFA’d. Momma always said it’s not nice to speak of ill of the dead so I will leave it at that. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out why Scott Atchison got the call and Robert Manuel is still sitting at Pawtucket with his thumb stuck up his ass. Manuel has sick AAA numbers and he has to be thinking to himself ….. “if not now, when?”
* FARM REPORT: It was another nice night for uber-prospect Casey Kelly who had his second nice outing in a row. Kelly went five last night, gave up a single run and whiffed five. Still waiting on a little more confirmation but it looks like Kelly is starting to get on top of the Eastern League. That is pretty ridiculous for a twenty year-old.
* OK Dice, let’s keep the momentum going this afternoon. I know Fox is not typically where you shine but this is the Phils and last time you saw them, it was all you. The law of averages says the Phils will even the score but I have a feeling Dice will do a good job this afternoon. Maybe not a one-hitter, but something along the lines of 3 runs over six and change.