Saturday, April 15, 2006


Can you draw conclusions about a baseball team ten games into the season? Injuries are part of the game, yet ten games into the season, and absent a couple of regulars for about half (Crisp and Nixon), the Sox have jumped out to a 7-3 starts to lead the AL East.

These aren't necessarily your father's Red Sox, or even YOUR Red Sox offensively, as they're in the middle of the pack in runs production, averaging 5 runs/game. However, they're tied for 5th in the AL in OPS, so maybe better days are ahead offensively. The Sox also check in at 10th in home runs, likely to improve once Manny Ramirez gets off the schneid.

Although the pitching has generally shined (3rd in ERA), we have to wonder whether they can keep it up, 6th in WHIP ratio (walks and hits per inning pitched) and 9th in K/BB which may be a better predictor of future ERA than ERA itself.

The good news comes defensively, where they have allowed only three errors in ten games, and had eight error-free games. They are among the league leaders in double plays at short, second, and first and the double play combination of Gonzalez and Loretta appears to be the best Sox combo I've seen watching this team for 45 years. That's not a knock on the Bressouds, Owens, Riveras, Garciaparras, Lansings, Petrocellis, Griffens, and so on. Just the facts.

Last night Curt Schilling was masterful amidst the raindrops, and Jonathan Papelbon clearly has a presence on the mound reminiscent of the Radatz days, where you felt the opposition was outgunned. Schilling proved economical with his pitches, and Questek didn't seem to inhibit Tim Tschida's vision of the outside corner either. Joe Brinkman doesn't give you that.

Offensively, the Sox put up ten hits against Jamie Moyer and crew, and one shouldn't forget that Moyer is the number 8 active pitcher in career wins and 96 ALL-TIME. Really. He kept both Ortiz and Manny in check, but Alex Gonzalez had three hits to drive in both Sox runs and move above the Mendoza Line up to .239.

Rumors have it the Marlins are continuing their fire sale, looking to unload Dontrelle Willis, and looking for an asking price of Jon Lester and Papelbon. Not happening.

Farm Boys. The Pawsox topped Charlotte 5-4, with Jeff Bailey, Hee-Seop Choi, and Rodney Nye leaving the yard. Portland won 4-3 with Matt Van der Bosch and Zach Borowiak each getting a pair of hits, and Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits (.412), a walk, and a stolen base as he tears up the Carolina League.

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