Tuesday, July 05, 2005


For the USA Day (USA) matchup against the Rangers, the Sox played well enough to win, but got Foulked again; this time he gave up 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk, getting only one out, and the Sox lost 5-6. Foulke's ERA in save situations is now well above 10, and this must stop. That really ought to be the last save situation we see him in for a long time. I won't say more on this, since I've posted plenty, starting over 2 months ago. Please, Theo, do something.

Eight days ago, June 26: Sox had won 12 of their last 13, catapulting them into first place. The CHB announced "The 2005 Red Sox are going to win the AL East", and even went so far as to say "don't worry about jinxing them".

Well, we all know what happened. Since then they have dropped 5 of 7, six of which were at home. Sox remain in 1st, but only because the Orioles have lost 10 of 14; meanwhile the Yanks and of course Blue Jays have both gained a few games in that time. As fun as it is to blame CHB for everything, it's not just him: all of RSN was feeling pretty great then -- pick any Sox blog to the right and check out what was written on June 26-27 (one exception is GrieveRules, who expressed concerns after just the first loss). Barely one week later, it feels like a different team, or a different season. It's obviously not -- it's just 5 losses, 2 of which made glaringly obvious a problem which is now probably about to be fixed -- but it's crazy what a single rough patch can do to your mind.

...of course, it's only baseball. Hope everyone enjoyed the fireworks. Happy 4th!


  1. Yes, and also in my "Concerned" post I said that I thought Giambi would be more productive. Yesterday he hits two home runs.

    By the way, the O's are done...I am stating it right here and right now. I saw the end of the Yankees game yesterday (ESPN), and the O's are not good anymore. Maybe the injuries have caught up with them, maybe it is just that time of year when young pitching begins to tire. They did everything wrong late in the game.

    With that thought in mind, our pitching has been pretty good. Yes, Foulke Implosion has been bad, but our starters have been solid (Clement's last start excluded) and I still say Embree is on the road to recovery...Also, DiNardo is back!!! Why the exclamation points? I have no idea...

    In the above mentioned O's game, the Yankees still looked just awful. Bad baserunning, fielding, and pitching. Mental errors left and right. In fact, in their seven run 8th inning, just Giambi's home run, a Jeter single, and a Bernie Williams bloop single made it out of the infield. Everything else was passed balls, walks, and hit batsmen.

    So, despite a few wins, the Yankees are not really improving. If they lost yesterday's game, there would be a different feel about today.

    With that said, bullpen help is the top of the priority list for the Sox. And, not to argue, but I have to take aim at Timlin once again. Technically, Embree struck out the last batter of the inning. Missed call by the ump. Embree, in fact, jumped in the air, and was about to pump his fist when it was called a ball. It wasn't even borderline, just a missed call. But...back to Timlin. The runner on first (Embree's) ends up scoring because Timlin gave up a triple. Now, again, Embree was throwing the ball well. He shattered a bat and the Sox couldn't turn two. He walks a guy on strike three. Could he have done a much worse job than giving up a triple? I say if the Sox play by the numbers then letting Timlin enter with runners on base is a VERY BAD IDEA because he sucks at not having them score...11 of 18 is ridiculous. Let Embree finish the inning...

  2. I agree on most points; I was wondering that about the O's myself. The Blue Jays, on the other hand...

    I agree that Embree isn't looking as terrible as he used to, and thanks to bullpen management his numbers make him look worse than he is (whereas Timlin's make him look better than he is. But I think it's too little, too late. I would be perfectly happy to see him DFA'd.

    Seriously, if Foulke and Embree had pitched at last years' level, how many more games would we have won? I'm not going to crunch the numbers, but my guess is about 5.

  3. Ok, but here's a question...Looking at money and the actual available relievers out there, who has the possible upside of an Embree?

    Honestly, I'd rather replace a Foulke with a closer than look for another left-handed middle to late reliever.

    I think Embree is serviceable as a lefthander out of the pen. I thought Foulke was going to turn in around. He must be tipping his pitches. Last night Kevin Mench said he was looking change up and then slammed a fastball...Making an adjustment to a fastball? I've heard it the other way (Fastball to offspeed) because you have more time...I just don't get it...

    Still, we could help bury the O's just before the break...Also, Yankees get the O's and Indians before the break...We could still have a good lead by the All-Star game...

  4. Grieve - I've got to disagree on Embree. To me, he's the one guy in our pen - DiNardo, Gonzalez, and Halama included - that doesn't hae an upside. I've never liked him, but I tolerated him when he was at least league average. Consider this, though: since coming to Boston, he's posted ERAs of 4.26 and 4.13 in 2003 and 2004, OPSA's of .664 and .694, and K/BB's of 2.81 and 3.36. He's lost velocity steadil over that time, and velocity was his only weapon. And to top it all off, his L/R splits since coming to Boston haven't been big enough to warrant his use as a lefty-specialist. Foulke could easily figure it out tomorrow, and Halama is Halama - nothing great, but sevicable enough. Embree, though, is done. Has been for a couple years, it's just really catching up to him now.

  5. Well there's this guy...though he'd probably cost a lot in terms of prospects.

    And Andrew's right: Embree's OPSA is .873 against lefties, .950 against righties. Take your pick -- they're both terrible. Even a league-average right-handed reliever would be more effective in situations which would normally call for a left-handed reliever.

  6. I have to agree that Embree has virtually no upside at this point. I think his days are numbered or he develops some mystery illness and lands on the DL. I have been saying for about a month that he should be cut and nothing has changed my mind on that - not even the occassional decent outing. Sure Timlin's numbers are a bit better than they should be, but one number that is truly telling is HR (also where Foulke has struggled this year.)

    And as far as Foulke, he is really worrying me. while in London, I expressed concerns about his comments on his role, the Sox and money - and I saw even more of those this weekend. "This is not the role he chose." Excuse me? what exactly did he think the Sox were paying him $8MM per year to do? He wants to start? In 538 career appearances he has made 8 starts. In 1997. And posted an 8.26 ERA. But he did say that he likes closing because that is where the bigger paychecks are. Oh and he is dealing with personnel issues as well.

    I'm not sure what the clubhouse is thinking about all this. You don't hear much from him and about him, but I wonder if he is begninning to become a little Nomar-esque.

    All I know is something is not right. Tipping pitches, injury. Something.

    As for the Yanks, I will always be a bit worried about them, but I do tend to agree that "despite a few wins they are not really improving." Hell, they had 16 of 18 earlier but weren't really improved. Of course as Grieve noted, Giambi would be more productive, but I mean really, he could not get any worse. Before yesterday he had exactly 1 extra base hit in his last 52 late appearances. And his slugging percentage was a Bellhorn-esque .364.

    So George King has been writing that the Yanks may be consider getting Schmidt or AJ Burnett. I can see Schmidt and have heard that he is available, but is Burnett really available? FLA is in contention - why would they deal one of their starters? Even if he is a FA to be. Plus, who would the Yanks send to FLA. Of course maybe this is just wishful thinking on behalf of Yankee publicist George King.

  7. Earl - check those numbers again; the splits are reversed.

    Yep. Embree has allowed a .950 OPS against lefties this year.

    His 3 year splits show a better perfomance vs. lefties, but not to the point where his name jumps out as a useful lefty-only guy.

    Not to mention that we already have one of these, and he's been - against all odds - pretty good.

    regarding Burnett - hs name's out there enough hat the Marlins have to b at least dangling him a bit. They're 7 games out despite being 4 game over .500 (thanks to the inexplicable dominance of the Canadationals), and if they sink much lower Burnett could very easily go. And given our chips, I'd say we have a better chance of nabbing him than the Yanks. But the Orioles probably have a better chance than either.

  8. X, I heard the Schmidt things, as well. All of this goes to earlier points that we've made about Cashman and his judging of talent.

    People can say that Steinbrenner wants the big names, but Cashman put together this pitching staff. Maybe Randy Johnson was a Steinbrenner thing, but who would have thought he'd not be great?

    The Yankees can go out and get another starter. Pavano just missed a start due to an injury, Brown is awful, the weather heated up and RJ didn't (even though people said wait for the warm weather), Mussina has been decent, Wright...where did he go?

    The Yankees had their replacements for Quantrill pitch yesterday...Results? Bad...They can't fill all those holes.

    The Sox need relief pitching and maybe a utility guy...maybe.

    Just one last word on Embree...He was lights out in the past two post seasons...He blew up last June, as well. Then he was fairly money the rest of the way out. One might say if Williams takes out Pedro and puts in Embree that we go to the Series one year earlier...The last three times Embree has come out Timlin has come in. Timlin allow 6 inherited runners to score with 2 outs in those three outings...Embree has had to get 4 outs in a few of those innings thanks to not-so-great fielding behind him. I do not agree that his velocity has left. He throws 94-95...Does he hit 97? No, but it isn't like he's throwing 89-90.

    I know what the stats say, but Timlin has an ERA of 1.77, and I just don't think that is very accurate of his performance. In his last 5 appearances he has a .444 BAA, and an 8.10 ERA. He has given up 8 hits and logged 3.1 innings.

    A larger sample?
    BAA in June- .328
    19 hits in 14.1 innings

    Embree gave up 15 runs in June. 7 of those were on hits Timlin gave up. Could Embree have gotten out of those innings? One could only guess, but in pressure situations (minus the Toronto 3-run walk-off) he's been good.

    I am just saying that I'd like to see Embree get a chance to work his way out of these innings. I believe that his numbers would improve. I am also saying that I get nervous when I see Timlin lately, yet no one questions his performance...

    Embree pitches VERY WELL in Camden Yards and Yankees Stadium (not going to put the numbers in...but check it out at ESPN)...We will need that.

  9. I'll happily question Timlin's perfomance. His ERA's very good, but when you factor n inherited runners it starts to look a lot worse. Still, he's been the best of a bad lot. If we're gong to gut the pen, he's the last guy you do anything about.

  10. Yikes...Yanks 7, O's 0...
    Well, if we win tonight that's a 3 game lead on the Os and 4 on the Yankees.

  11. Yikes...Yanks 7, O's 0...
    Well, if we win tonight that's a 3 game lead on the Os and 4 on the Yankees.

    Edit---Giambi with another HR...Will someone please test him???