Saturday, April 2, 2011

Red Sox Game 2: Offense Still Thrives, But Pitching Blows It Again

Another day, another display of how offense only supports pitching, while it's pitching that wins games.  Two games now, two poor performances by the starting pitchers of the Boston Red Sox, and two losses compared to no wins on the books.  I mean, the offense this year has looked great in two games.  A-Gonz goes 3 for 5, and the man who best shows the early season slumping, David Ortiz, hits a home run and drives in three RBIs, while also taking the record for most RBIs for a Designated Hitter (a tip of the cap to Mr. Ortiz).  And our lead off hitter, THE LEAD OFF HITTER, drills a two run bomb.  In a game with decent pitching, five runs of offensive support would definitely be enough to get the win.  But two poor pitching performances lead the Sox to losses in these games that should have been won. 

It's been about three weeks now since Terry Francona announced the decision of his pitching rotation.  Lester being number one and Lackey being number two.  Now, I doubted Lester as the ace from the start, but I was growing to the idea.  But Lackey as the number two?!  When we have pitchers like Bucholz and Becket on the same rotation?!  Lackey should be the number 4.  Becket should be the one, Lester the two, and keep Bucholz where he is.  This team will not succeed with the rotation order we have now.  Becket will win half the games, maybe even more than half against the aces of other pitching staffs.  That's more than Lester or anyone else on the Sox staff will gain against ace pitchers.  But Lester will see great success against number 2 pitchers, and Bucholz against number threes, and Lackey against fours and Matsuzaka against fives.  Sure, Becket may only be a .500 pitcher at the end of the year, but the other four pitchers wouldn't have any better success, but will have success against the pitchers they match up against.

Now everyone I have proposed this rotation to tells me the same thing. "Becket is worn out," "He's not good enough to be the ace," "Lester's our number 1," "Francona knows what he's doing."  Well you know what?  Lester's not ready.  He proved that on Friday.  He got out pitched by C.J. Wilson.  If he had pitched the way he did yesterday in today's game, he would have matched up great against Lewis, and probably would have gotten the win.  And Becket is a big game pitcher.  He would have stepped up his game and pitched great I'd bet, good enough to match up against Wilson anyway.  And for those of you who disagree, let me know, but I know I'm right on this.  Becket may not be pitching the way he did in 2007, but he's still good enough to go toe to toe against most aces.  I don't know if I can say the same about Lester.  And Lackey!!  Lackey may have been great in the past.  But not anymore.  He's not an ace, or a two, possibly a three.  But as a four he would be great.  Francona needs to recognize his players and who they will match up against.  You think Lester or Lackey will match up well enough against C.C. Sabathia from the Yankees?  No way.  But Becket would. 

The Sox offense is good enough to win these games.  But we need the proper pitching match ups to make sure we're not getting blown out like the last two games.  I mean, 21 runs allowed in 2 games?  What offense is good enough to make up for that?  There isn't one in baseball, that's for sure.  Now, tomorrow Bucholz goes out there against the Rangers number 3.  That's a good match up.  A great match up.  The Red Sox will probably win the next game.  My only hope is that Tito will recognize that and realize his match ups.  Use the day off on Monday to re work the rotation so that it works.  Skip Beckett's next start and just have Matsuzaka pitch on Tuesday against the Indians.  Then Becket pitches the next game, and Lester, then Bucholz, then Lackey and then Dice-K again.  Then all is well in the world again.  Seriously, I'm still waiting on Francona's e-mail address so I can send this to him, because he will benefit so much from it.  That's all for today my Out of Bounds readers.  Hopefully tomorrow I get to write my first blog for a winning game.  Until then, make sure you stay Out of Bounds!

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