Monday, August 08, 2005

Now playing 2B - Tony Graffanino

Anyone missing MarK Bellhorn and his record breaking striKe totals?

Well I do, I will never forget that 8th inning home run, not that many months ago, but Tony G is doing his best to help wipe our memories.

Picked up from the Royals in exchange for Chip Ambres, Graffanino was hitting .298 for the Royals, and after a fantastic night, has raised that to .306. He went 3 for 3, scored 3 runs and drove in 4, hitting his first HR for the Sox over the Monster - he had such an effective night that the Rangers were reduced to intentionally walking him in the 7th inning, although that didn't work out the way the Rangers hoped.

Graffanino had already shown incredible alertness on the basepaths scoring with a well timed slide across home plate on a wild pitch in the 4th. In the 7th, after that intentional walk, he stole second. After Alex Cora had worked a walk, Tony G scored from second on an infield single, again showing incredible alertness to take advantage of the awkward play at the front end. With Bellhorn struggling in his rehab assignment, is he our next DFA?

1 threw a strike:

At 3:29 pm, Blogger Marc C. Santos said...

Scoring on the infield single showed incredible alertness and hustle. I didn't see the game, so I don't know if the third base coach waved him in or if it was Graf's call. Either way it shows the Red Sox turning it up as the season progresses-- a great sign.

As for Bellhorn--last season I was a staunch Bellhorn defender. As a number nine hitter, Bellhorn regularly made pitchers throw at least 4-5 pitches per at-bat. Watching/listening to as many games as I do, its not that he is doing anything differently. While he is still looking at a lot of pitches (the statistical difference for pitches per at-bat is actually higher this season), he is whiffing on an incredible amount of pitches. This is really bad since this season more pitchers are sending it down the middle--treating Bellhorn as you would a pitcher in the national league. Put frankly, his inability to make contact and lack of speed make him an extreme offensive liability. I was a Pokey guy all last season--when Bellhorn hit his first Yankee homer, I turned to my wife and said "great, now we're stuck with this asshole for at least two more years..."

 

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