Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Avert Your Eyes?

What can you say about last night's game? Ugly? Horrible? Spectacular?

The greatest deficit I remember the Sox overcoming was an 8-0 game in 1967, which I believe Jerry Adair capped off with a game winning homer. I definitely could be wrong about that, since it happened over 40 years ago.

The Red Sox have found new ways to frustrate us, even in the wake of a pair of World Championships. You can never have too much pitching. But the staff falls apart with season long injuries to Curt Schilling, mostly hurt Bartolo Colon, and what seems like a Clay Buchholz badly in need of a sports psychologist. The Byrd Man of Cleveland can bring even a semblance of sanity to the back end of the rotation (an ERA under 5), that would constitute an improvement.

And then there's the bullpen, which like the little girl with the curl, has been very bad when bad. Again, as I've repeated over and over and over, maybe better pitching means more than better players.

The centerfield camera (Direct Vision) has returned for tonight. Where did it go?

The serial injuries to Mike Lowell prove what? That players named after cities (Wakefield, Lowell) are injury prone? That signing older players increases risk? Are injuries random or does age contribute in a 'measurable' way. Joba Chamberlain is a kid, and he's on the Yankee DL.

Do we have a better vision of who the player Jason Bay is? Earlier I noted that his similarity score to J.D. Drew likely isn't accidental. After watching Bay for a couple of weeks, doesn't he remind you of a righthanded hitting Drew? He's a capable outfielder, runs fairly well, and has decent, but not outstanding power.

Where do we stand on the Varitek watch? With his average among the lowest of players with at least 300 at bats, can we view Varitek as unlucky, declining, indispensible, or problematic?
Varitek's strikeout percentage (26%) is the second highest on the team (after Cash) and his OPS is a paltry .650. The good news is that it hasn't gotten any worse since the All-Star break.

As for the shortstop job, if Jed Lowrie stays healthy, he has to be the shortstop. In fewer than half as many at bats as Julio Lugo, Lowrie has more RBI (26-22), an OPS almost 100 points higher, and in twenty-three games at shortstop he has not received an error (jinx!). Sometimes you can see a lot by just watching!

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