Bloody Sox

Red Sox Rants — and other random opinions about sports

Archive for the month “April, 2011”

Three cheers for three wins!

The Boston Red Sox have the worst record in all of major league baseball after yesterday’s victory over the Toronto Blue Jays “propelled” them to 3 wins and 10 losses. Still, there is much to be optimistic about, starting with the second excellent start in a row by Josh Beckett, which seems to indicate he might actually return to — I was going to say “form,” but his form has been pretty bad — being the pitcher the Sox hoped he’d be when they gave him his huge new contract last year.

But the Sox also got good performances from the bullpen, including Jonathan Papelbon. They got some timely hitting from Adrian Gonzalez, their new gazillionaire first baseman, and Kevin Youkilis. The real punch to the lineup yesterday came from Jed Lowrie, who may just be working his way from super sub and into becoming an everyday starter. Terry Francona needs to stop convincing himself that Marco Scutaro is the better choice at shortstop.

So is this team ready to go on a run? We’ll find out after today’s performance. I’m just glad Dice-K isn’t pitching today, because he’d surely sink them another notch into oblivion.

Let’s just end the season now!

Okay, so I actually listened to the last two innings of today’s 1-0 loss to the supposedly hapless Cleveland Indians, and it has gotten so pathetic I’d just like to have Sharon Stone drive an ice pick through my brain now and put me out of my misery (bet you were wondering how I was going to make that photo into a reference).

Neither Carl Crawford nor Dustin Pedroia could muster a big hit when the Sox had two runners aboard in the top of the eighth. That failure to score would haunt them in the bottom of the inning when the Indians scored without the benefit of a hit after Daniel Bard walked the number nine hitter to lead things off. Then in the top of the ninth, the Sox had one last gasp when, with two outs, David Ortiz walked, but pinch runner Darnell McDonald over-ran second base on an infield hit by J.D. Drew and was thrown out, ending the game. The Indians sweep and the 0-6 Sox return to Fenway for the home-opening series against the Yankees. Who knows. Maybe the Yankee rivalry is just what is needed to spark a fire beneath this band of under-achievers.

In a related story: After last night’s loss, Terry Francona talked about being consistent:

Regardless of what my personality is with the coaches, if we don’t maintain some consistency, I think that’s going to send up a red flag out in the clubhouse. That’s the best thing we can do, is just be consistent.

Ah, Terry, consistency is good when you’re playing well. Consistency is not so good when you consistently suck. If Francona were captain of the Titanic, he would have said, “Well, I didn’t set off a siren or launch the life boats because I didn’t want to alarm the passengers.”

Whistling past the graveyard, 0-4 edition

When I wrote that the Red Sox would get off to a slow start, I didn’t actually imagine it would be THIS slow. But I’m not going to panic. In fact, in some ways I think being this bad could be a good thing. Instead of turning it around a month or two from now, the 2011 Red Sox will have gotten all their suckiness out of their systems the first week of the season. My prediction is that Dice-K wins tonight and the Sox roll to five wins in a row. Wake me if I’m right.

Four Red Sox in Posnanski’s 32 best!

Joe Posnanski, the stats-junkie and eclectic columnist for Sports Illustrated, has selected the 32 Best Players in Baseball for 2011, and four Red Sox players are among those elite:

Carl Crawford at #26 – “The guy’s awesome. He’s one of the 32 best players in baseball, and pretty comfortably so, in my book. And if you’re a Red Sox fan, you don’t care about money, anyway. But should a Red Sox fan think that now that Crawford is in Boston, in a better hitter’s ballpark and in a market where people will notice him more, that he will suddenly jump up and become one of the 10 best players in baseball? I don’t think so.”

Jon Lester at #22 – “Lester is one of the best pitchers in the league. He is my 2011 pick for American League Cy Young.”

Kevin Youkilis at #19 – “In 2007, he became a good player. In 2008, he became a great one. The last three years, he’s had his share of injury issues, but he’s also hit .308/.404/.560. Add in his superior defense, there aren’t many players in baseball you’d rather have.”

Adrian Gonzalez at #3  – “Adrian Gonzalez has been a great baseball player for five years. Some people know that. And, frankly, some people don’t. And the reason some people don’t is because he played half his games in the hitters coffin that is Petco Park.”

And if you’re wondering, the Red Sox firstbaseman and thirdbaseman are both far higher on the list than those same positions on the Yankees!

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