Results tagged “Boston” from Who Made You Mirabelli?

No News is Good News

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dice-k.jpgAs of this morning, everyone and their uncle had their jock-straps in a twist over some theoretical announcement regarding Diasuke Matsuzaka's future with the Boston Red Sox. Was he going to start? Was he going to be benched? Was he going to be released? Taken out back and shot? WHAT? Somebody... please tell us what is going on.
But as the tension become more and more palpable (mostly because of the unreal amounts of media attention it was getting... but what do you want? -- it was an off-day), it became clear that Red Sox fans weren't even going to get a nugget of anything. The Red Sox are almost as bad as the Patriots in that respect. They have become masters in saying literally nothing. It's almost enough to pray for an Ozzie Guillen-type figure... almost.
But taking a step outside the box, the question is this: does it really matter when Dice-K comes back? We've already seen he's no Beckett in the post-season. And now that our bats have woken up from their beauty rest, the team is winning... without him.
Obviously, you want your ka-trillion dollar man out there earning his salt. But his return isn't going to make-or-break the season. If anything, it's going to give Red Sox fans more heartburn, as pointed out in a brilliant, funny, and awe-inspiring article by a good friend of Who Made You Mirabelli, Michael James Silver, or Pythagorus, as he is known is some circles. He's a talented young writer for FireBrandAL who is really going places. No wonder why his work has gotten picked up by the likes of ESPN.com's Rob Neyer, and was featured on the MLB Outsiders homepage.
Although it is somewhat silly that Dice-K, in all of his virtual irrelevance, is making the homepage of anything these days... slow news day.
d-peds.jpgYou've got to be happy for Dustin Pedroia after his first career multi-home run game. It's quite a big accomplishment, especially for such a little man.
But it seems like the only one not jacked about his pair of jacks last night is D-Peds himself. After the game, he told the Globe, "I'm not trying to hit home runs. I'm just trying to hit line drives. Some times they get up in the air and get out of here."
So humble...
Humility has never been the name of Ortiz's game, a game which tied a record for home-runs amongst DH's at 269, tying the Big Hurt's utterly useless record.
Now, riddle me this... who the hell saw Alex Gonzalez coming? Three homers all season with Cincy... three in the last month. Yes, please.
On to more pressing matters... Big Play Clay. Finally, his control is getting there. It's been the one missing piece to his puzzle, and it seems like he's learned to keep his mental game in check. Thank goodness. Last night, he racked up five strikeouts and one walk in seven innings. With the likes of Paul Byrd on the mound, Terry will take that any day of the week. Overall though, it was his comfort level that was the big difference. He's finally working smarter, not harder.
Michael Bowden, on the other hand, is working harder than anybody to get that 10.5 ERA down. Another two innings like he had last night might do the trick. He's still getting hit (two last night), but he needs to take his lumps in order to become a better pitcher. He'll get there eventually, but probably not this year.

Shipping Back to Boston

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According to the Providence Journal, both Jed Lowrie and Paw-Sox catcher Dusty Brown will be on the bench for tonight's game against the Orioles... prompting dozons of people to ask, "Who the hell is Dusty Brown? And didn't we just paint the living room that color?"

Tough Crowd

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Despite some fair play by the Red Sox over the long weekend, things don't seem to be going their way.
Marke Buehrle, who is emerging as the weirdest pitcher of the year (perfect game, followed immediately by six winless weeks), threw another gem against the Red Sox - while a bit down the coast, the Yankees were completing a sweep of the Rays. Moreover, Carlos Pena now has two broken fingers and is out for the season. Couldn't that have happened to someone in pinstripes? No? Too much to ask?
Well, at least we can look on the bright side... Derek Jeter apparently couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat, so at least we've got that going.

Big Game - Big Numbers

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Tonight is sure to be nothing short of a number game. As the Red Sox prepare to start a three game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field, the focus once again turns to pitching - the one area where the Sox have a decided advantage.

Thankfully, the Sox are staring down the barrel of a Sonnanstine, Garza, Price match-up - and we're firing back with Lester, Beckett, and Buchholz. Lester has been nothing short of spectacular in his last seven starts, picking up the slack for mysteriously ill Josh Beckett (H1N1? We're not saying... but we're just saying...)

It seems like a few short days ago when people were taking to the streets, praying up and down for any form of a pitcher. But in a series when a 14-5 ace with a 3.8 ERA is your biggest question mark, it's not a bad position to be in, relatively speaking of course.

In fact the three that the Sox are putting up this week have a combined ERA of 11.78, while the Rays are working with a 15.19 ERA. Of course, ERA can be one of the most misleading statistics in baseball, but the team's 8.9 hits allowed per 9 innings seem to echo the hittability of their pitchers. Not that the Red Sox have had the loudest bats as of late, but these Rays pitchers could be the nice cup o' joe that we so desperately need.

Now, the Globe, as it has been known to do, is crying to the hilss over this week's series - but they might actually be on to something here. At this point, with a month left in the season, there is a lot of room for change. But against a fiesty AL East competitor, the playoff picture could be much clearer by weeks end. Although Chad Finn needs to temper his enthusiasm (no... the earth is not going to open up and swallow the loser of this series), this is going to be a big one... hopefully with some big numbers for the boys in Red.

Feeling Uninspired?

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So are these Boston Red Sox. There's no way to rationalize or explain our way out of it. This is a slump of spirits - and unfortunately, these past few weeks have brought opponents that the Red Sox absolutely could not afford to lose to.
But in year's past, the Red Sox always used to dig out those must-win games. This year, things are a bit different. The Sunday night game against the Yankees showed endless money shots of a loose New York Yankees team. But then again, five home runs against the best pitcher on your rivals team might do that to you.
Bottom line is that the Red Sox are in a funk of spirits, and that's leading to poor on the field performance. They need to loosen up, and figure out how to jive better as a team - and the quickest way to do that is to start winning games. Vicious cycle. Let's hope it ends soon.

It's just about that time of year: the Yankees are playing well, the Red Sox are slumping, and the streets of Dorchester are lined with bodies from all of the fans heaving themselves from the tallest building they can find.

The Red Sox are in a free-fall, but this is a road that this team insists on going down almost every single year... and while it may feel like the sky is falling, this is nothing new under the sun.

In fact, this year's pitfalls are certainly better than the ones that Red Sox nation felt in 2006 - a year in which the BoSox missed the playoffs. This year... there is a safety net. So let's calm down a bit, shall we?

Earlier on in the year, the Red Sox went out for essentially every buy-low veteran on the market. Theo has learned well from the missteps in 2006, and gone after inexpensive depth. To have a guy like Josh Reddick who they can call up and send down whenever he's needed is beyond invaluable (note: Jed Lowrie would normally be deserving of some sort of mention in a paragraph such as this... but his crisp .074 since the All Star break is keeping him out of the running).

They even have pitching options, believe it or not. A few of those options aren't exactly that viable, but they're options, none the less. The wheels are, indeed, coming off of Brad Penny and John Smoltz and are now careening towards a crowd of horrified onlookers, but their problems (including, but not limited to, a combined 47 earned runs in 10 starts within the last month) are magnified by the situations the team has been in lately. Keep in mind that the 13-inning jaunt the other night burnt out the core of the Red Sox pitching staff beyond belief. After something like that, a shaky series has to be expected... it's just too bad that such a series had to be against the Yankees... It always has to be the Yankees.

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