After visiting with Dr. Lewis Yocum in California, it was revealed that Jacoby Ellsbury’s ribs still hurt and that he needs more rest. So, this is our second opinion? I have no medical training, and I think I could have arrived at the same conclusion.
This whole RibGate thing is getting as vexing as the Mike Lowell Death Watch. Can someone please clear the air? Does Jacoby think the Red Sox doctors screwed up in their initial diagnosis, or not? Is Scott Boars horning in on the process to punish the Sox yet again? Were his ribs ever actually fractured, or not? Where the heck are the reporters who supposedly cover this team on a daily basis to give us some answers?
The bottom line in all this, of course, is that the Red Sox suffer mightily with Ellsbury out of the lineup–both offensively and defensively. If he had been healthy all year, chances are our current position in the standings would be greatly enhanced.
Just get back, Jacoby, will ‘ya? Spare us the Soap Opera!
You almost have to feel sorry for Mike Scioscia. He is one of the classiest people in all of baseball (this writer can confirm that on a personal level), and yet he seems to be destined for torture by the demons of Fenway.
Last night’s other-worldly loss to the Red Sox (a 9-8 “walk-offer” in the 9th inning) was just another episode in the long-running series that might be titled, “Dude, Where’s My Karma?”.
The look on Scioscia’s face after the “3 and 4” count on Nick Green said it all. Let’s be honest, Red Sox fans, that should have been strike three, game over. Scioscia seems almost resigned to the idea that “something wicked this way comes” whenever he makes the trip from Logan to Yawkey Way.
Of course, we’ll take it. Another notch on the Ranger Elimination belt is fine with us. And, although we’re not really counting, the Sox are only five in the loss column behind the Empire.
So pause for a moment, and pity the plight of Mike Scioscia. At least until the first game of the ALDS.
It’s not too often that every pundit, columnist, blogger and fan is proven flat-out wrong. But, sure enough, Daisuke Matsusaza has done it. Be honest now, when he got ahead 0-2 to the first batter and then walked him, you had that gnawing feeling in your gut, right? All together now: Crack egg, smear contents on face. OK, feel better?
We were all wrong to fear the patented 3 2/3 inning, 107-pitch fiasco we’d become used to from Dice-K. Instead, he twirled an efficient, 6-inning masterpiece–and gave up only three hits! Who is this guy? Oh, that’s right, he’s the one we dropped over $100 million on. Now I remember.
This is why baseball is the greatest of all games. It can confound you just when you think you had it all figured out.
It seems like only a matter of hours ago when we were all thinking, “Josh and Jon and bring the rainout on”. Now, we face the growing likelihood of post-season play with four potentially dominant starters–Beckett, Lester, Buchholz and Matsuzaka. Who else can boast that kind of front line?
Of course, two or three more losses in the next few days, and we will be back on the ledge. For now, climb back in off the ledge, sit down and enjoy your Special K breakfast.
Twenty-four games remain for both the Red Sox and their chief post-season obstacle, the Texas Rangers. The boys from Dallas are refusing to go away quietly, taking a double-header from the woeful Indians on Tuesday to gain ground on Boston–despite our 10-0 shellacking of the even more woeful O’s.
So, how is the final push stacking up?
Well, the Red Sox play 62.5% of their remaining games at home–where they’ve posted a .686 winning percentage. The Rangers will toil in Arlington only 50% of the time from here on out–where they have won at a .637 clip. Away from Fenway Park, the Carmine Hose will play only 9 more games–in a setting where they win at only a .479 pace. Texas will play 12 more outside of the Metroplex–where they are a .493 winning club.
So, let’s do the math on this fairly substantial sample size of games and ignore the speculation that goes with looking at the individual match-ups (which give the Sox an edge).
Based on past performance, the Sox should win 10 of the remaining 15 games at home and 4 of their final 9 road tilts–that’s 14 more wins and a final total of 94 victories. Texas should win 8 more games at home and 6 more on the road–that’s also 14 more wins for a total of 92 wins.
So, according to our highly complex algorithms (thank God for the Texas Instruments TI-1795SV calculator), the Red Sox will win the Wild Card by the narrow margin of 2 games–about where they are right now. So, cool it. Can the angst. And get ready for the post-season. Uh-huh.
The important first-game win by the Red Sox in Tampa last night featured all of the elements the team will need to get to and prosper in the post-season.
In no particular order, we saw timely hitting, hitting with power (3 home runs), intimidating speed on the bases (a pitch-out on a 2-1 count with Ellsbury on first), solid starting pitching, (mostly) effective bullpen work, and run-saving defensive plays (two spectacular grabs by Ellsbury). All of this and more will be needed if the Sox are to contend for their third ring in six years.
And, with the September 1st call-ups, Terry Francona will have an added weapon that he relied on in 2004–speed off the bench. Joey Gathright could be the 2009 version of Dave Roberts, an added dimension that every serious team in the “tournament” needs.
All in all, the Olde Towne Team is looking better and better for the stretch drive–and last night’s win may be the precursor of good things to come.
I know we’re in the midst of a hunt for the post-season, but if you need an interesting distraction (aside from the Patriot’s pre-season), think of the possible make-up of your 2011 Boston Red Sox.
Theo and the Trio have got to be even more embarrassed than they were last Winter at the swing and miss on Mark Teixeira. Headed for a likely MVP, the Sox top target in the off-season was allowed to go to the Empire for a relative pittance (in the context of mega-contacts).
Who is the next likely impact player they can focus on? None other than the franchise catcher of the Minnesota Twins, Joe Mauer. Trust me, no matter what they say, the Red Sox will not let this one slip away. And it won’t be as much about the money as some of these deals turn out to be. Mauer wants to win a ring. We can give him that opportunity–the Twinkies can’t. The Empire? Why should he be just one of many big ticket mercenaries when he can be the mercenary in Fenway Park?
So, sit back and imagine an infield of Victor Martinez at first, Pedroia at second, Youk at third, Mauer behind the plate and–maybe–Casey Kelly at short. Sounds like another ring in ’11 just in time for Fenway’s 100th anniversary in 2012.