Sunday, May 13, 2012

5/13 Sox Look to Win the Series

The Red Sox look to win their third game in a row against the Indians today at 1:30 on NESN.  If they do they will win the 4 game series against the Indians.  If the Indians win it will be a split of the 4 game series.  Daniel Bard (RHP, 2-4) takes the mound for the Sox while old friend Justin Masterson (RHP, 1-2) will start for Cleveland.  Bard deserves a better W-L record because he has been perhaps our best starter early in the season.  Bard has been doing a good job being efficient with his pitches and going deep into games.  He has been kept in a couple of games too long which has hurt his overall statistics, but he has pitched well.

Things seem to be a little more optimistic in the Nation this morning.  Two wins in a row will do a lot for a baseball team and it's fans.  This is not the first time we have won two in a row this year, but I think last night was really encouraging because it was in my opinion their best pitching performance from inning 1 to 9 of the season.  Cleveland only had 5 baserunners all night.  Adding to that optimism is word that several injured players are getting closer to returning.  Pete Abraham covered it well in his notebook on boston.com this morning:

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2012/05/13/andrew_bailey_getting_closer_to_a_return_boston_globe/



Here's my take on a few of the walking wounded.  Jacoby Ellsbury seems to be close to returning, but it's hard to tell because the Sox are keeping the information about his injury a mystery.  They are doing a better job than the Pentagon.  This is likely because of the fiasco that happened in '10 with his rib(s) injury.

Andrew Bailey is hoping to be cleared to start throwing when he visits the doctor later this week.  Once he gets clearance to throw we are probably looking at at least 4 weeks for him to get ready to pitch in big league games.  His return to the bullpen could really take the bullpen from above average to the strongest part of the team.  Getting Melancon back and getting what you expect out of him would be huge too.  The tough part will be figuring out who goes.  Atchison has pitched great.  The three lefties Hill, Miller and Morales aren't going anywhere.  Miller appears to be setting himself up to pitch important innings for this team and maybe that will finally get his career to click.  Aceves and Padilla aren't going anywhere, so that leaves Matt Albers who has been up and down like Jekyll and Hyde.  It looks like Melancon will have to wait for an injury or for one of the relievers to become ineffective before getting recalled.

Kevin Youkilis has been playing catch and seems to be getting close to playing baseball.  The question is where is he gonna play.  He has scoffed at rehab assignments in the past, but I believe he needs to go down and play 5-7 games to make sure he is really healthy before they activate him.

Carl Crawford hopes that he can resume hitting in a week or so, but won't be able to start throwing that soon.  I think he's still a long way from coming back.  The outfield situation without him and Ellsbury seems to have finally clicked a little bit in the last two games with Sweeney in CF, Ross in RF and Nava in LF.  Nava has played great defense and he is having good AB's.  Will his defense in LF become a liability when they go on the road Wednesday? I don't know, but his call up was a surprise to myself and many others.  Wouldn't it be something if it was that decision to call him up that ended up stabilizing the outfield and the team.

Look for the lineup to be the same today as it has been the last two days.  Feel free to leave comments and check back here for updates throughout the day.


5 comments:

  1. Darnell McDonald was put on the 15 day DL today and Mauro Gomez 1B was called up to take his place. Ellsbury was moved to the 60 day DL to get Gomez on the 40 man roster. Not sure why Gomez was the choice here. He's not going to play much 1B or DH (unless Papi's heel is worse than expected) and I don't believe he can play the OF. He'll be a right handed pinch hitter off the bench. With road interleague games coming up this week creating a need for more flexibility on the roster I think it will be a short stay for Mauro.

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  2. Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there!! 4-0 Boston after 1.5 innings. RBI's by Middlebrooks, Nava and Salty (2) in the bottom of the 1st. It all started with a two out walk to Papi and then they ended up batting around and scoring 4 times.

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  3. Mission accomplished! The Sox win the final game of the series 12-1 to take 3 of 4 from the Cleveland Indians. The Sox got their third straight quality start and it made a big difference. The bullpen was also outstanding late allowing the offense to pull away late in the game. The Sox got great offensive efforts up and down the lineup but Daniel Nava and Salty Dog led the way with 3 and 5 rbi's respectively. The Mariners come to Fenway on Monday for the start of a brief two game series. Things are starting to feel a lot better around here!

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  4. Third straight strong start by a Sox starter ( starters 3-4-5, by the way) equals three straight wins over the first place Indians. As bad as the Red Sox have played this season, with a penchant for losing a variety of ways, it really all comes down to the pitching. Up until this series all five of the starters have had very strange seasons, all with ERAs around 5, yet each of them have had good to very good games sprinkled around some terrible games. Beckett, for example, with the terrible first game and the equally bad start last time out had 4 starts in between with an ERA of 2.93. Buchholz had been the worst, but a strong start last time out, described as his first good start. But actually two starts ago Buch pitched strong six innings and unraveled in the seventh. Maybe the best way to sum up this rotation, was mentioned by Sean McAdam on Comcast. For all the bad ERAs and angst, people are also saying all the time as Dice K nears the end of his rehab."Who can he he replace when we all ready have these 5 guys starting?"

    We do not need a shutout every time out, but consistent starting efforts( like the ones received the last 3 games) by these 5 guys alone can turn around this season. And with 5 games coming up with the Rays in May, now would be a great time to kick it in gear.

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