1-3 Not to Worry
By Chris Cue
April 11, 2009
You can bet that the Red Sox didn’t want to start the season in a 1 and 3 hole like this, but even in their losses good things have happened. Last nights game against the Angels was almost a given “L” in the Win/Loss column. With the Angels playing with so much emotion following their tragic loss of Nick Adenhart, I’m not sure how any team facing them last night could have had the desire to win that game. That is truely a very sad story and difficult time for all of baseball, but especially for the Angels. If the Sox had to lose one, it seems quite appropriate that it happened last night.
We have seen several good signs in these losses. Jacoby Ellsbury putting it together to get on base twice last night was a step in the right direction. Mike Lowell, speed deminished and all, looks as slick in the field as ever and he’s putting good wood on the ball as well. In fact, most of the Red Sox players are squaring up on pitches. It’s just a matter of time before those start to find some holes. For some reason the Red Sox offense always seems to struggle a bit when Wakefield is on the mound. Whether that’s due to the slower pace of the game or just pure coincidence is up to you to decide. Wakefield was not in a fantastic groove last night, but he did manage a quality start. Had a few of those hits found holes, we may have had an entirely different ballgame.
This afternoon, Joe Saunders will go to the mound for the Angels to face the Red Sox. Saunders, who has a career 4-0 record against the Sox is comming off an impressive start vs the Oakland A’s. His career 2.89era in 6 games vs the Red Sox would appear to spell trouble for the team today. However, you’ll need to factor in the law of averages. In my book, the Red Sox are due for a win. This is however, Saunders most productive month of the season. His April numbers in 2 full seasons are a daunting 8-0 with a 1.94 career era.
For the Red Sox, Brad Penny will make his team debut. Penny who is sure to be on a pitch count going into today needs to be efficient if he hopes to go deep into the game. Terry Francona no doubt is hoping to get at least 6IP out of Penny today. In the Angels ballpark, Penny has a career record of 1-2 with a 5.68era. He’ll need to do much better then that today if he hopes to come away with the win. If Penny can get a little help from the bats waking up today, that would go a long way to making this one a “W” for the Sox. The team looks primed and ready to have a break out game. Let’s hope it follows as solid effort on the mound by Penny.
Game time today is 4:10pm ET and is the National broadcast on FOX (although regional coverage may affect that in some areas).
Since tomorrow is a day for families, friends and faith, I’ll be taking the day off as well. So, I’ll wish you a Happy Easter today.
Enjoy the games and GO SOX!!
Is There A Missing Piece?
By Chris Cue
January 26, 2009
Going into the off season, all fans of all teams probably had their own set of priorities regarding what they would like to see their team accomplish. I’m sure each of us had one position or player that we saw as a “must have” item.
I’m looking for responses here, so I’ll offer a few questions. I’ll give my answers as they relate to the Red Sox, but please feel free to answer for your team. I’d honestly like to hear other viewpoints so that we can all become a little more educated across the league as opposed to keeping our focus solely on our hometown guys.
Q: Did your team address the “need” you saw as being the highest priority?
A: As a Red Sox fan, I’d have to say no. Going into this off season I had hopes of the team picking up a viable catcher for the future. That hasn’t happened yet.
Q: Are you happy with the acquisitions your team did make?
A: Yes and No. I like the majority of the signings the Red Sox made with one exception. Brad Penny. It’s not that Penny is so awful that I cringe having him on our team, he’s not. I do however, think we could have done better for his spot in our rotation. This is a highly debatable opinion, but I thought at a minimum we could have taken a flyer on Ben Sheets instead. At a maximum, I wouldn’t have minded A.J. Burnett. In my opinion, Both Sheets and Burnett have a higher upside then Penny if they are healthy. Health is the big factor here. I can only assume that the Red Sox saw less of a risk with Penny then they did with Sheets. Too bad, because I think the pay off (if there was going to be one) would have been much higher with Sheets than it will be with Penny.
Q: Are there any pieces to your team that you think should still be added? If so, who would you like to see fill those/that vacancy?
A: Yes there are a few.
1). The obvious one for the Red Sox is the full time catchers position. While the team does have enough bodies to fill that spot, the best available option in my opinion remains unsigned. It should come as no surprise that Jason Varitek is the guy I feel should fill that role this year.
2). I know I could be labeled as a greedy SOB, but I would still like to see the Red Sox add another starting pitcher. Yes, I’m talking about Ben Sheets. He just fits the profile on how the Red Sox do things too well. He can be had at a low cost and carries with him a potentially huge upside. With Wakefield, Smoltz and Penny all looking to be counted on this season, I’d like to have a Ben Sheets as insurance as opposed to a minor leaguer that may not work out.
3). Much further down on my list is our utility infielder. I had hopes of replacing Julio Lugo with another player that might give Jed Lowrie more room to breathe. What I mean by that is, he wouldn’t be competing for his starting SS position on a daily basis. Julio Lugo’s 9 million dollar contract sitting on the bench, may tempt the powers that be to play him more often then I would personally like. A return of Alex Cora to the backup IF spot because of his defense, would have been a good choice in my opinion.
Q: Looking at your team right now….as it’s presently structured, do you feel you have the players and personnel to be a contender in your division?
A: Without a doubt. Yes I do. It’s not as clear cut as say an Angels fan might look at their
current position and competition, but absolutely, I think the Red Sox will be in the mix. The teams competition for an AL East title is greater in my opinion then teams in the Central or the previously mentioned West might be, but considering what we have, Yes we’re definitely a player.
Please feel free to give your answers in the comments section or even ask and answer one of your own. I’m anxious to see how others view their teams and hopefully learn a thing or two.
By Chris Cue
January 14, 2009
This is a horrible time of year for most Baseball fans. I mean, when the headline of the day is where Bartolo Colon has just signed, well, you know you’re in trouble. So, I’ve decided to turn over my blog for the next few days (not really) to a few people I’ve
created met recently. Before doing that, I thought it would only be proper to introduce you to them first. So, in no particular order please say hello to:
Oh sure, he grumbles a lot, but nothing he says ever really happens. He only gets real
nasty when he shows up in New York. So, it’s a good thing he’s hardly ever there.
ever get him off that ledge, he’ll talk about the Mets all day long.
Chuckles The Chimp
appearances in Los Angeles during October, so we’re pleased he decided to stop by.
Chuckles motto is: “100 Wins is Never Enough”. He say’s it over and over and over and…
2 outs and she was looking for bus fare for the ride home. She’s nice and all that,
but she hasn’t been around baseball very long. Go easy on her OK??
Charles de Gulp
very much from Charles this year. Although, you will hear him mumble the name
J.P. Riccardi from time to time. He usually follows that with a very loud burp and a quick
check of his pockets for spare change.
bunch, so I invited him as well. It’s not that Stat is a bad guy, he’s not. I just get tired
of hearing him tell me what the odds are that Julio Lugo is about to strike out.
No offense intended, but I don’t need a math wiz to tell me what those odds are.
So, there ya go. My guest bloggers for the next few days. I’ll be back soon and then we can talk
about all the new people we’re sure to meet later in the year…….