The verdict is in: offense isn't the problem.
(Stats/Image courtesy of Boston.com)
And here's the precise reason why we still stand a chance to win the World Series again. Because our offense can carry us. We need the pitching, though, and until the minute Mike Remlinger leaves the pitching staff we still aren't very good.
Matt Clement has been poor since the All-Star break. Tim Wakefield, Bronson Arroyo and David Wells have been average. Wade Miller is hurt, and hasn't been spectacular anyways this season. Curt Schilling is returning to the rotation on Thursday but no one knows how he will pitch. I'm not going to get into a big, philosophical discussion about this, but here are my thoughts:
- This is easy: get rid of Mike Remlinger. He's not pitching well, and it doesn't look like he's turning it around.
- Don't jump the gun on Craig Hansen. He looks like he is major league ready but I really don't want him to pull a Cla Meredith (I'm not saying Cla is finished either. He just hasn't been as good since the promotion). If we do call him, throw him into a meaningless game first against the Devil Rays or Royals. Not the Angels, Athletics, or Yankees.
- Lenny DiNardo is a good pitcher, you just have to learn how to use him! He's been mis-used all season long and it's a shame. DiNardo should have a job next season.
- Jeremi Gonzalez has been good lately, but don't fall into his spell. He's no Roger Clemens. He will have his bad times and when he does we should be prepared.
- Keep Jonathan Papelbon in the rotation. I don't care how you do it, but do it. He has been our best starter recently. 'Nuff said.
- Don't misuse Chad Bradford and Mike Myers. They both need to face the hitters they're supposed to. We can't afford to give up what seems like an automatic hit when they are facing a batter they struggle against. I really think Bradford is a good pitcher. He just needs to face only righties.
- Maybe we should just take the leap and go young. Bring up Manny Delcarmen and Hansen to work along side Papelbon. Delcarmen is a better pitcher than a few pitchers in our bullpen, and Hansen has the potential to be great. I definitely believe Delcarmen should be in the bullpen right now, if not, both.