At the other end of this pitch: bad things. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
I don't think I'll be ruffling too many feathers in saying that yesterday's game was awful. Well and truly terrible.
With that in mind it might be tempting to just pretend it didn't happen, create a fairy tale world where the season has 161 games, and shout angrily at anyone who dares to contradict you on either count. Instead, however, I'm going to bring you back to one of the worst parts of the game. The part where Mark Melancon came in, faced six batters, recorded no outs, and surrendered three home runs.
Actually, it was pretty impressive. There are home run derby pitchers who couldn't pull that off. He's made an art out of batting practice to the point where his 22.50 HR/9 can perhaps even be worn as a badge of honor. But I digress. What's important is that it's got some folks thinking that it could be time for a move. Via Tim Britton of the Providence Journal:
Melancon figured to be the primary set-up man for Andrew Bailey this season. Now, it's worth noting he does have a minor-league option remaining, meaning the Sox could send him to Pawtucket to iron out his issues.
"At this time, you have to consider everything," said Valentine when asked about a possible demotion.
While the talk around these parts have been more focused on the possibility of a trip to the DL, apparently that's not warranted just now:
"The tricky thing right now is that I feel good," said Melancon. "Whether I'm opening up or showing the ball too early or something mechanically like that, something like that has to be going on. You know, balls have been left up in the zone and good hitters take advantage of that."
Either way, at this point he's not even getting the outs needed for mop-up duty. Until he gets himself right, he's a wasted roster space.
Also included in the list of yesterday's poor performances: Kevin Youkilis, bearer of the Golden Sombrero. After seeming to right himself over the first few games against the Rays, Kevin Youkilis sat on Monday, and sucked on Tuesday. Sorry, but there's not really any way to sugar coat that. He was terrible.
Of course, that's what he'd looked like on the whole of the road trip, so it's not really such a surprise. Alex Speier has a story on the whole weird mess that has been Youkilis' 2012.
Look, Podsednik had his day as an MLB regular, but that day was a fair while ago, and didn't really last that long. There's a reason he's hanging around in the Phillies' system, and not on a major league team. With only so long to go before Carl Crawford comes back, and the upside being Scott Podsednik, it might be best to just stick with what we've got right now.
In other news, the Red Sox pitchers work slowly! News at every single segment about this on sports television in the past decade.
Even without Jonathan Papelbon taking up a couple minutes per pitch, the Sox apparently come out on top in the rankings so far this year. But maybe that can be explained by something different: the crippling fear of what's going to happen when that ball gets to the plate. So far, the results haven't been so good.
Finally, in non-Sox news, there's the curious case of Scott Baker's trip to the surgeon, who went in expecting to fix up his flexor pronator tendon, and then left after performing Tommy John Surgery! That's like asking your super to take a look at a leaky pipe and coming home to realize he's taken out the wall between your apartment and the neighbors'.
It's not funny. Injuries are not funny, really, I am assured. But it's pretty funny. Can you imagine going in for one surgery, waking up, and having them drop that bomb on you? Seems like the sort of thing that would make for terrific dark comedy.