Saturday, May 01, 2010

Five Swings: Accidental Death

The Red Sox trail the Orioles 12-9 as they head into the ninth against the Woes. Ouch.

1. Fenway South. The ballgame for the most part sounds like a home game in July, with Sox fans loudly cheering Sox success, and tossing back an Oriole homer. So much for the good news, as the Sox came in with a better road than home record. Are they confused?

2. Rolling the Daisuke. Daisuke Matsuzaka looked like the Daisuke of old, with some 'power nibbling' and even walked Adam Jones to lead off the game. Matsuzaka allowed 6 ER in 4.2 innings, and not to be outdone, Father Time, or Father Tim Wakefield allowed 5 in 2.1 innings.

3. Plus-minus. It feels bad, because it is bad.
Good teams have very favorable plus-minus ratings, runs scored versus runs allowed. The Sox just aren't playing very well right now, with the plus minus very solidly in the red. It's not an accidental death when you live in the's bad baseball.

4. Pitching and defense. Well, the defense hasn't been good either, with the team 12th in fielding percentage and defensive Maven Adrian Beltre having made four errors in the past eight games. Theo came out of the bunker earlier and that seemed to help...maybe he needs to dodge the torches and pitchforks and make another appearance.

5. Get real. Baseball is a tough sport, not one where you can swing harder or grip the ball tighter and play better. You can hit in tough luck (at 'em balls) or pitch ineffectively ("wild in the strike zone"), or just slump. David Ortiz hit a pair of homers tonight after taking extra BP. If only it were that simple. Talent makes a difference, too, and missing Ellsbury and Cameron (injuries are part of the game) hasn't helped.
Still, it may not be too soon to start putting the finger on the problem.

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