Okay, now hear me out on this one. You’ve got Clay Buchholz on the mound. Through 7 innings he is throwing a one-hit shutout. The next logical step to an ten-year old would be to leave him in the game because he is pitching so well. I apologize for wanting to have a manager with just a little more insight than an ten-year old. Buchholz was over 90 pitches entering the 8th inning. He’s just a kid and at the end of last year the Sox even curbed his use in order to save his arm the wear and tear. But now, Francona ignores his bullpen and pushes his luck with Clay, in turn costing us the game. You can argue until you’re blue in the face that it was worth the risk considering the poor performance and lack of rest/health of the bullpen recently. That is still no excuse to stretch out the starting pitcher longer than is appropriate. It’s not fair to Buchholz, it’s not fair to Okajima (who should’ve got the ball), it’s not fair to the fans. We’ve won 2 World Championships under Francona. For that he deserves a medal. Maybe two. But I have hated him as a manager ever since his arrival in Boston and it is decisions like the one he made tonight that add fuel to that fire. Accuse me of Monday Morning Quarterbacking, but I thought it was quite obvious that Clay was done for the day. It sickens me that Francona just signed a four year contract extension. Stop chewing your damn tobacco for half a second and pay attention to the game.
On a happier note, Jacoby Ellsbury has been making a pretty strong case for himself being the centerfielder of the future. With two more hits tonight, he’s at .296. How long before Coco Crisp gets traded? His stock may be at a peak right now as he too is off to a hot start hitting .333. Then again, if we traded Crisp then Francona wouldn’t be able to anger all of Red Sox Nation by benching Ellsbury. And we all know how much he likes to do that.
What a frustrating loss today. Elite prospect Justin Masterson is rushed up from AA to make an emergency start and goes above and beyond expectations. 6 innings of 2 hit ball – you can’t ask for more than that. He leaves the game with the lead and then just like that the bullpen gives it all back. Neither Lopez nor Delcarmen could record an out, each allowing 2 earned runs. Maybe Delcarmen hadn’t fully recovered from the flu.
In any event, there were some bright spots. Ortiz’s average continues to rise as he is now at .189 after hitting his 4th HR and picking up RBI number 19 and 20. Crisp had a great game, going 2-4 with 2 doubles, a run scored, 2 RBI, and 2 stolen bases, although he did make his first error of the year. It was good to see Youkilis back, but Varitek was still missing and Ellsbury got the start in right over Drew. Word is Lowell will be back tomorrow, which is great news for the club but could mean a demotion for Jed Lowrie, who has been outstanding so far while playing second, third, and shortstop.
From a superstitious stand point, there wasn’t too much I could do about this one. I was starting a new streak and therefore a new tie, I simply picked the wrong one. Also, I was in school during the game so I couldn’t even watch it. I’ll try a different one tomorrow and hopefully we can get back on track in Tampa.
Alright, on the heels of the 6-4 loss to the Angels I’m sure you’re all turning to me for an explanation. Never fear, I have one.
I mentioned the ties in my first post, and sadly they are the culprit tonight. Here is the background information on the ties: my school’s dress code requires that I wear a tie each day. If the Sox are on a winning streak, I wear the same tie as I did the day before. Simple, right? Why haven’t we won every weekday game then? Well, believe it or not, there has been a valid explanation for every exception. I won’t detail all of them here but just so you know I’m not pulling your leg… take a look at the week of March 30th. We won Tuesday and Wednesday per the tie rule, off day Thursday, and then oh wait! The rule has been disproven right? Wrong. We were out of dress code on Friday and since I didn’t wear a tie, we lost the game 6-3. Another fact worthy of mentioning: we lost all weekend long and did not win again until the next Tuesday, which was the next gameday when I could wear a tie.
Back to tonight. This tie was on a roll. 6 games in a row. But they don’t count because they were over the weekend right? No, this tie, with the help of another superstition that I can’t mention right now, powered through the weekend until I could continue wearing it on Monday. Sadly, all good things must come to an end. The reason may sound a little farfetched, in fact I would be surprised if many out there believed me. But I’m not going to worry about that, all I can do is promise you that at all times on this blog I am telling the truth. So, during school today, my friends and I discovered a kite stuck in a tree on our campus and we decided to spend the period trying to get it down. Sure, it started off by innocently throwing tennis balls at the kite, but it eventually became an obsession and we had to turn to more drastic measures. So we all tied our ties together to make a string about, well, 3 ties long. We tied a lemonade bottle to the end of the string (which was my tie, THE tie) and tried to loop it around a tree branch so we could pull it down and retrieve the kite. To make a long story short, which I am doing a horrendous job of, by the time I got my tie down from the tree about 40 minutes later it was not in good shape. It had some pretty tight knots tied in it and it got a little beat up from rubbing against tree bark. We didn’t get the kite and I knew I had compromised the luckiness of the tie in the process. So consider this an apology to Red Sox Nation, I promise not to fool around with the lucky ties anymore.
P.S.- Get well soon Curt Schilling, Mike Lowell, Alex Cora, Josh Beckett, Jason Varitek, Manny Delcarmen, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Kevin Youkilis, and Coco Crisp. Did I miss anyone?