If it’s true that “good pitching beats good hitting,” then I guess it stands to reason that “bad pitching beats bad hitting,” or something like that. Well, that thesis was put to the test last night at Fenway and for one night at least, the thesis survived intact.
Let’s be honest here. The Mariners offense is horrifying. So I’m not sure you can take too much away from last night if you are a Sox fan or a Lacketologist. Yeah, you can fawn over the ten strikeouts. And it certainly was nice to see Lackey limit his base runners to just one per inning. But frankly, how jazzed can you be when the opposing lineup featured Ryan Langerhans, Adam Moore, Matt Tuiasosopo and Chris Woodward? Or for that matter, Chone Figgins and Casey Kotchman?
So we now know one thing ….. there is at least one AL team that John Lackey can handle. Until last week, LA was in that mix but they escaped that dubious distinction when they touched up Lackey for ten hits and five runs. So that leaves just the Mariners on the list. There are a couple of others where the results haven’t been uniformly terrible but for now, the list has just one name. And here is a little tidbit, Lackey’s ERA against Seattle in sixteen innings is 1.13. And against the rest of the league? 4.86! It’s numbers like that really call into question Lackey’s LA resume and the efficacy of his signing.
Anyways, Lackey did his job, Scutaro banged out a couple of big hits, Drew jumped into the action and Beltre stepped up once again with his bat and his leather. It all added up to the Sox third straight victory and if it weren’t for the fact that the Sox can’t get a lick of late-inning help from Oakland and LA, the Sox might be within shouting distance of the Rays when they go down to Tampa this weekend.
That aside, our attention now turns to Josh Beckett who tonight gets his shot at the lowly Mariners. There is hardly a lineup above the Eastern league that I would trust Beckett to face but Seattle might be soft enough for even Beckett to handle. At the very least, tonight will provide us more evidence as we seek to prove once and for all that “bad pitching beats bad hitting.”
POINTS OF INTEREST:
* Johnny gets his own post later on …..
* Marco Scutaro didn’t hit anything for two weeks earlier this month but on this home stand, he is 11-26 and last night, he even went from first to third on a hit to right. Quite frankly, I had given up on ever seeing that happen again. Kidding aside, nothing was leaving the park last night so Scutaro’s two-run knocks through the right-side were just what the doctor ordered.
* Was it just me or did it seem like Doug Fister had the Sox down in the count all night?
* I’ll say it again …. Does Mike Lowell have to play every night? Three more Ks last night before Mikey laced a garbage-timer to left. I am guessing that Francona won’t want to catch Martinez tonight and tomorrow so I am guessing he will be playing 1B one of these games.
* At this rate, Hideki Okijima will be finishing out the year with Salem in the Carolina League. Last night, he went out for Pawtucket and got slammed, giving up four runs on four hits while registering just one out. Given that performance, I’m not sure Oki is up for the Eastern League so perhaps we should dispense with Portland and move on down to A ball. Honestly, I’m not sure we have seen the last of Oki in Boston but if I am Theo Epstein, one of my primary off-season goals is to find a couple of relievers who make Oki and MDC expendable.
FARM REPORT: Just a few mentions …. Anthony Rizzo drilled a three-run double and that gives him TWENTY-NINE RBIs this month, a new Portland franchise record for RBIs in a month. Rizzo has cooled off a bit but with 91 RBI on the year, he has a shot at cracking the century mark. Elsewhere, 2010 Sandy Pick Bryce Brentz slammed his fifth home run of the year for Lowell, and after getting off to a horrendous start, Brentz is starting to hit. And down in Greenville, Derrick Gibson continued his walkathon, picking up two more last night, giving him 19 this month. Mind you, Gibson is slugging under .200 and that begs the question …. Why aren’t people throwing this guy strikes?
* Almost forgot … Josh Reddick slugged two bombs for the Pawsox and while he has cooled off of late, his August numbers read as follows: .318/.348/.565 with six doubles and five home runs. Sox Prospects has this guy ranked as the 13th best in the system. Seems a bit low to me given the fact Reddick is 23, very athletic and finally seems to be putting some of the pieces together.