Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Game 2 Ugliness

Well that was just grim - game 1 went pretty much as expected, with Johnson DFA'd after the game to allow us to remove Foulke from the DL.

Game 2 however... the longest 9 inning game in AL history, and one of the ugliest in recent Sox history.

I don't have many doubts that Jon Lester can be a strong member of our rotation for years to come, but games like this, at this time of year, aren't where he should be learning to pitch. I don't have many doubts that Craig Hansen can be a very valuable member of our bullpen in years to come - but like Lester, he is learning to pitch at the wrong time, in the wrong place. But the Sox needed them to pitch better than they did yesterday, and sadly... the Rolling Stones weren't right, you don't always get what you want, or what you need!

But there are two people that I do have significant doubts about, magnified by yesterday's performances - Timlin and Francona.

As pointed out at Feeding the Monster, it wasn't Timlin's fault, it was <insert any hitters name here>. Mike, they may not have been firing on all cylinders recently, but if 11 runs aren't enough for you... you need to start being a relief pitcher for the Celtics. Timlins' problem with inherited runners was very evident last year, and I am not sure what evidence Tito has seen this year that has changed this viewpoint, but to bring Timlin in, in that scenario is inviting him to fail... and apparently he decided that he would very much like to accept that invitation!

And Tito... it is our dear manager that keeps issuing these invitations to fail, his inability to recognize the best places for our reliever's to succeed, his inability to recognize when a pitcher is at his limit... and frankly, watching him sit in the dug-out at the moment, he just looks beat. Whether he doesn't think he has the cards to win, or just doesn't recognize the situation that is staring him in the face... who knows, but he certainly doesn't inspire much confidence at the moment.

And so Game 3, in which Beckett has to carry as much weight as has ever been asked of him by the Sox - frankly he needs to carry the ball a long way - but equally Timlin is right, to get us back in this series, the bats do need to be patient with RJ - they have shown they can be patient with him, but today they need to stay that way til they get him out of the game.

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