BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 21: Relief pitcher Alfredo Aceves #91 of the Boston Red Sox, who pitched the 8th and 9th innings, reacts after a 6-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park September 21, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Oh blessed peace.
A full day without the Red Sox losing, ruining my evening, dunking my mood in a vat of stale urine, riling me up enough to shout obscenities at the cat, and ultimately torpedoing any hope of sleep. So yeah, a day off was kinda nice. Back at 'em today though.
We've talked about how the Red Sox came into the year with a stacked pitching rotation. The top five guys were all expected to be league average or above, and it wasn't unheard of for someone to predict the rotation to be Boston's best in a long while. Of course, that hasn't happened. Injuries and under-performance (possibly due to injuries) have sent the Red Sox into what can fairly be called a death spiral. Still there has been an outcry from some fans and from some members of the media that the Red Sox didn't do enough to prepare for a situation such as this (I covered that a few days ago). In a nice piece of analysis, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal takes a look at all the specific options that were available to the Red Sox both this past off season and during the season, in order to determine the amount of culpability the team's front office should be facing. The truth is, as Mr. MacPherson states, there wasn't much more the team could have done that wouldn't have been an irresponsible expenditure of capital or roster space. Should the Red Sox have signed Cliff Lee? It would sure be nice to have him on the roster now, but there was no room for him in the rotation at the beginning of the season.
If there is one potential criticism that might stick, it's that the Red Sox lacked quality starting pitching from the upper minor leagues that could step in and throw effective innings if need be. Mike Andrews of Sox Prospects details at ESPN Boston the problems with the starting pitching in the upper levels of the Red Sox system. Just about every starter at AAA Pawtucket was a major league washout, a guy with fringe stuff who wouldn't likely survive a trip to the major leagues. In short, they were there to fill out the AAA rotation, not to help Boston at any point in the future. It isn't likely there will be much available next season either. The vast majority of the best pitching are still a few levels away. By the end of next season there may be some talent percolating to the upper minors, but it seems that if the Sox endure another season of injuries in the rotation they'll be in for a similar set of problems.According to Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra, the newest column by Jason Whitlock is, "aggressively stupid, profoundly lazy and provides no insight whatsoever." I love stuff like that.
Oh hey everyone, Russell Martin hates the Red Sox. How nice. blah blah blah crap crap crap shut up.
The AL East Champion Yankees are readying for the Red Sox invasion this weekend by putting all their best pitchers
into the rotation out to pasture. The first in that regard is C.C. Sabathia who will get the weekend off. This is good news for the Red Sox who, despite what you may have heard about Sabathia and his struggles against Boston, is still a heck of a pitcher. The less the Red Sox have to face him the better and the less the Red Sox have to face him with Tim Wakefield or John Lackey on the mound the even better. Next is Phil Hughes, who may join Sabathia in his quest to nail his butt to a couch for the weekend. The Sox are currently set to face Freddy Garcia, AJ Burnett, and Ivan Nova. Not that it's made much of a difference lately but those are pitchers the Red Sox can score against.
Finally, we all know Yankee fans would totally pee on your floor, right?