Justin Masterson pitched six credible innings, allowing a pair of runs, reduced his walks to a pair, and kept the ball in the ballpark.
Remarkably, there were SEVEN hit batsmen in the game, and you didn't get the feeling that any of them were the least bit intentional.
There's nothing cheaper than free advice and as I once read, the easiest thing in the world is spending someone else's money. There probably isn't anything dramatically better for the Red Sox than the return of David Ortiz, and we have to wonder whether that is coming this season or not.
What options even exist for the Sox at this time?
- Shoring up the bullpen. This could happen in several ways, including improving the consistency of the existing pitchers, adding Buchholz to either the rotation (moving Masterson to the pen) or bullpen, and acquiring another reliever (probably costly with many suitors competing).
- Rejiggering the lineup. Jacoby Ellsbury started to bunt after Jerry Remy discussed it the other day.
- Fixing Varitek. I'm not sure that his bat speed is the problem, but on more than one occasion I'm seeing him either drop his back arm (creating more of an uppercut swing) or simply jerk his head off the ball (can't hit what you can't see). I'm no hitting instructor, but I recall Joe Morgan (the Reds') doing a chicken wing thing to remind himself NOT to drop the elbow.
- You go, Lugo. The Sox have a lot of money tied up in Lugo, and although he's improved defensively recently, he's giving them little production offensively. You can't expect Cora to do much playing once a week, and I'm sure the Sox don't want to give up on Lugo at 9 plus extra large a year.
- Manny being Manny. We can put up with the nuttiness when Manny hits. When he doesn't hit, the craziness simply becomes contagious. Frankly, I'd rather see Brandon Moss in left tomorrow against Joba, rather than Manny. Just one day off, that's all. We'll see how Francona sees it.