Red Sox Blog, but other Boston Sports Welcome!
P.S. That loss sucked. I guess that's another run given up by the bullpen?
While thinking last night about this team versus last year - I started to do a position by position comparison to last year - and while the offense is just about the same, the pitching is just not anywhere close to last year.Even with my rose colored glasses on - this is the best I could do.Schilling vs. Schilling - not even close. Advantage 2004.Pedro vs Wells. Lets give Wells credit for his big game experience and the fact that he is a lefty and the best we an do is say even.Wakefield verus Wakefield. Even.Arroyo (2004) vs. Clememnt or Arroyo (2005) - Although Clement has picked it up a bit after really struggling, he still only has one win after the ASB. But he is also the 4th starter and can potentially allow Arroyo to move to the pen for the playoffs. Advantage 2005.Closer. Foulkd versus Foulke Advantage 2004Set up. Timlin and Embree versus Timlin and ???? Advantage 2004Middle relief. Even with Arroyo moving to the pen, can he be as good as Lowe was last year? Advantage 2004.So sure they Sox can still go on a run. they just need the bats to keep hot and they need someone or somethree to step it up on the staff.
I think that the big issue here is injuries to Schill and Foulke.Wells is not Pedro. But he might be in the post season.Schilling starts tonight...Fingers crossed...Clement is better than Lowe. (Lowe sucked all year and then was excellent for the post-season...Who knows how Clement will be...That's not a call that can be made, yet.)Arroyo is the same or a little better.Wake is better than he was last year, but he's a knuckleball guy which means anything can happen.I agree that 2004 had better pitching. But we could quickly be changing that opinion if Schill and Foulke are effective...
The injuries to Schilling and Foulke are HUGE questions. I just don't see how you can be so optimistic about this team.And I don't even see how some of this years pitchers hold up:"Wells is not Pedro. But he might be in the post season."I agree it is an unknown, but he may also be Wells circa 2003"Arroyo is the same or a little better" - a little better in what? ERA, Opp AVG, WHIP, BB all up, Ks and K/9 are down and he is approaching a territory he has never seen in IP."Clement is better than Lowe. (Lowe sucked all year and then was excellent for the post-season...Who knows how Clement will be...That's not a call that can be made, yet.)" Thank you. The whole point is that this team is not built for the postseason. Sure Clement may/should help us get there, but there is little chance he can be the pitcher Lowe was. Especially in game 7 (1 hit in 6 innings) and the WS (3 hits in 7 innings). I would bet my left nut that clement does not put together back to back starts like that this year in the playoffs against the most potent (non-redsox) offenses in baseball. In fact, Clement had a chance to do it this year against NY and TEX when he was flying high (10-2). He did okay against TX (but not very okay - 4ER in 8-2/3) and then gave up 6 runs in under 3 innings against the Yankees. Hey I hope they can pull it together, but I'm just trying to be realistic.
But last year's team and the year before that were...We only had Pedro the year before and we were millimeters away from reaching the WS. Wakefield, Burkett, and Lowe were our other guys...Going in to the postseason last year Lowe was not even a starter (Lowe had a 5+ ERA and was 14-12.)...He stepped it up. EVERYONE stepped it up. If you expected the team from top to bottom to pitch like that then you are clairvoyant.Arroyo is going deeper in to games (his appearance last night screwed up the average but he is up around 7+per start...up from last year). His ERA is worse, but only .1 or so...I would take him against any other number 4 out there with the Sox offense...And he probably will be a right-handed specialist out of the pen anyway...Clement was excellent against LAA. He's only given up 2 earned runs in 10.2 innings in the Bronx. He can be good...Buerhle, Garland, Randy Johnson, etc...all had chances to step it up and they didn't either.Yes, Wells could be what he was in 2003.I am not saying that this team has great pitching. I haven't said that anywhere...What I have said is that who right now is the competition? Do any of those teams blow this Sox team (without Schilling or Foulke) away? I don't think that they do...I don't think that adding Schilling to the rotation and Foulke to the pen is going to make this team worse...Even if they stay the same they have as good a shot as anyone else out there...
Well time will tell. But the playoffs are very likely to have more 4-3 and 3-2 type of games than we are seeing now and our pen is very shaky.And Arroyo has started 25 games and pitched 158 innings, which is not quite 7+. I actually think it would be good for him to be in the pen since he is now at his career high in innings pitched.
ok, so adding Schill to the rotation made us worse...What can one say?All of this playoff talk may be for naught...Starting tonight...24 homes games left!!! At least we have that going for us.