Every game seems to be a life-and-death struggle, even against the lowly D-Rays, who have some athleticism and lack pitching.
Speaking of pitching, my son reminds me that Mike Myers is the Sox second best reliever (after Timlin). Although the Sox have cleaned house (arthroscopy for Foulke, highway for Embree and Halama), the remainder of the furniture, including Bradford and Jeremi Gonzalez aren't exactly Spahn and Sain.
Manny Delcarmen looked good in his cameo yesterday, with real heat (no Allen Ripley or Al Nipper fastballs) and some presence. Nobody's putting him in Cooperstown, but at least he has better stuff than the tryout squad.
The Nixon injury throws a monkey wrench into Theo's plans, as neither Stern, Hyzdu, or Welcome Back Kapler are everyday players.
Here's my radical suggestion, which has an absolutely zero percent chance of happening.
1) Elevate Papelbon to middle relief, with promotion to starting if merited.
2) Move Manny Ramirez to right field
3) Promote Hanley Ramirez (hell, we've got all the Millar/Mueller/Millers) around and play him in left, batting ninth. He can't be any worse than Manny and I bet that the promotion would energize him and get the Sox a guy playing with his 'hair on fire'.
4) Promote Jon Lester to Pawtucket
The closer issue remains unsettled. Schilling clearly doesn't have the same stuff and command as he had, and it's impossible to project what he will do. Should we be down on him? Hardly, it's just asking a lot for him to be the savior without more time.
Will Clement miss a start or more? I've practiced medicine for almost 25 years, and seen a lot of 'head bumps' and not a lot worse than his. People with far less trauma get 'post-concussive' headache (the brain gets rattled pretty hard in the tight box we call a skull) and the heat and physical stress of pitching are going to make it tough on Matt. Good luck to him.
What do the Sox need? A solid run of good starting pitching would help a lot. Let's hope that Arroyo (presuming he stays) and Miller can get it together.
Theo, don't forget to charge the phone. Our nails are chewed off.