Ok, I don't know if that's true or not, but it sure as hell feels like it right now. I do know one thing is true: The Red Sox are headed nowhere fast unless Josh Beckett-who right now is on the verge of sharing a bunk with Chien Ming-Wang in former ace hell-gets his act together and soon. Six innings, four runs against Baltimore. Five innings, eight runs against the Yankees. Four and two-thirds, seven runs against the Rays. All you sabremetrics guys out there who want to try and tell me that a 7.22 ERA isn't nearly as bad as it looks somehow, save it. At some point, you all start to sound like Groucho Marx to me: who ya gonna believe, my stats or your own lying eyes?
Terry Francona, a guy who could make lemonade while perusing the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust ("well, we have a much better view of the sea now!") had this to say: "I thought his stuff was tremendous. [He] didn't execute enough pitches." In other words, he was pitching great if only he could have gotten the ball across the plate.
The fact of the matter is, Beckett sucks right now. Thirty-six hits and twenty-four runs in 28 innings. What's all the more disheartening is that he looked good for the first couple of innings before the Rays hitters figured him out and the roof caved in...and the fact that his horrible start is not an anomaly in this rotation. Reclamation project Penny has given up twenty-four hits and twenty-one runs in seventeen innings pitched for a sparkling 8.66 ERA-I don't care how cheap he is, folks, that's gotta hurt. It's just awful. Jon Lester has not yet picked up where he left off in '08, as he proved by needing his ass saved by extra inning heroics in Cleveland.
Thank God for a generally solid bullpen, Jonathan Van Every notwithstanding. While I was disappointed the Red Sox traded Coco last offseason, I'd hate to think of where they'd be without Ramon Ramirez right now.
Comebacks are great, guys. Really. They're exciting, confidence-building, and fun to watch. But pitchers, you can only go to that well so often before it runs dry. One would have thought the last ALCS experience would have taught you that. Asking the bats to pick you up from 5+ runs three times in the space of a week is simply asking too much. At some point, someone other than the 2,000-year-old man Tim Wakefield and Justin Masterson is going to have to start doing their jobs.
Well, the nice thing about baseball is that you have less than 24 hours usually to lick wounds before you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. The Sox need a good outing from Masterson today unless we want to see Youk take the mound.
GO JUSTIN!!!!!! GO SOX!!!!!