Friday, June 18, 2010

Five Swings: Where Are We?

How negative can one be when the Red Sox have the third highest winning percentage in baseball and have moved within a pair of games of the leading Rays and Yankees?

1. Rohring Start. Slim lefty Felix Doubront started out strong, but a series of Dodger hits and Sox misses led to three tying runs. Doubront didn't make anyone forget Jim Kaat covering first base, and Mike Cameron did a Lonnie Smith imitation to make matters worse. Okay, so it wasn't a no-hitter into the ninth, but how much of a career did Billy Rohr have? Doubront has shown a live fastball, a willingness to pitch to contact, and an intention to try to control both sides of the plate with the fastball. Curveball? Not so much, so far. He has a rep of holding runners on, but looks to have a slow delivery to the plate.

2. Nava Ho! Daniel Nava came in hitting .444 in a small sample size. He may be getting even more PT, with J.D. Drew limping off after catching a sinking liner. Drew's Naehringesque health status has to worry Sox fans, but it may again open up the Chronicles of Reddick.

3. Catch of the Day. Jason Varitek got the start tonight, very understandable with a rook on the bump. Varitek has been terrific as the backup, and at this point in his career, the money's still good, so it should be 'all good' for the Captain.

4. Boomtown. The Sox had a pair of homers in the first, including an Ortiz blast that threatened the Jordan's Furniture signage. The promotion hasn't started yet, anyway, but just sayin'. J.D. Drew had about a four minute home run trot, because the refs missed the OBVIOUS homer. When a round object hits a flat object flush, it bounces back, whether or not you've even heard of Newtonian physics. The blue crew got it right after a replay. Now if Bud Light could only recognize the 21st perfect game in history...

5. Manny. I'd love to reveal some juicy Manny tale, but in the best interest of baseball, I won't. See Bud, it's not that hard. Ramirez returned as DH, along with Dodger skipper Joe Torre, oft architect of numerous Yankee-Sox battles.

Summary: Doubront shows poise and competitiveness, but his curveball needs a lot of work, at least if this is his 'generic' stuff. I saw highlights with a better one, so maybe it's an outlier....

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