Sunday, May 01, 2005

Sox Rearrange Rangers (W6-5) Season 13-11

Another benefit of baseball is its suitability, if not design, for radio. As the family drove back from a volleyball tournament, we got to hear the ministrations of Jerry and Joe, and oddities like all the early runs being scored without a base hit driving in runs.

Matt Clement used up his pitch ration for the week, but somehow gets the victory with yes, a quality start. Only 5 percent of quality starts involve a six inning, three run performance, so this was a bit of a rarity, too. Still, Clement is 3-0, he kept the Sox in the game, and Texas is a formidable hitting club.

The much-maligned bullpen came through with solid work from Embree and Timlin, and Keith Foulke continues to work through his early season struggles. His velocity and command aren't where they need to be, but they look better.

The Sox pounded out thirteen hits and worked five walks, so obviously the left on base problem is still a bit of an issue. Kevin Youkilis had another hit and a pair of walks. He definitely looks to be the kind of guy who can be a .280/.400/.450 underpriced infield asset.

Yankees lose, Yankees lose. Well, the Yankees continued to struggle, dropping one 8-6 to Toronto (tied with the Sox for second). Carl Pavano, another of Dirt Dogs Fortune 500 (makes a fortune, .500 pitcher) got rapped for 6 runs in 5 innings, and the Yankees bullpen failed again. George Steinbrenner must be on anticonvulsants by now, if not on suicide watch.

Meanwhile, the Oriole train keeps rolling, with two homers from Melvin Mora (6), another from Miguel (some people questioned whether he was better than Nomar) Tejada (9), and another win for Bruce 'Marshmallow Fluff Arm' Chen. Why can't we get guys like this?

Stathead Section. The Sox remain in second place in runs scored (136 in 24 games, 5.66 per game), second place in OPS, second in slugging and first in on-base percentage. In fourteen road games, they've scored 72 runs, 5.1 per game.

Where have they gone? Gordon Edes had a magnificent article about Earl Wilson, formerly a Sox pitcher who authored a no-hitter in 1962.
I remember Wilson as a very good pitcher, but also as a free-swinging hitter who was a pretty decent long ball threat. Wilson is also one of those trivia answers, as in African-American pitchers who won at least 20 games in a season, having won 22 in 1967 (after the Sox traded him in 1966). Some others that I know:

Bob Gibson (5 times)
J.R. Richard (1976)
Vida Blue (3 times, 24 in 1971)
Ferguson Jenkins (7 times)
Dave Stewart (four years in a row, 1987-1990)
Mudcat Grant (21 in 1965)
Don Newcombe (twice)
Al Downing (1971)
Mike Norris (1980)
Dwight Gooden (24 in 1985)
Sam Jones (21 in 1959)

Productivity goes hand in hand with opportunity.

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