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The Starters That Need to be Clutch

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I know I shouldn't complain because we are winning, but we really haven't played very well lately.

We have won four in a row, including the last three against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. We have put up some great offensive statistics as we have scored 24 runs in the last three games. Thankfully we have put those numbers up, because our pitching staff has given up 18 runs in those three games.

We are dominating like we were last year. Last year we would score five, six, seven runs and then shut down their offense with a shutdown, or one run night. Now we are only winning because our offense is firing on all cylinders. With almost every offensive player hitting very well - including Kevin Millar who belted two last night - we are just getting by despite scoring so many runs.

Matt Clement hasn't had his stuff since the All-Star break. Maybe he lost it in Detroit or maybe he's just doing his yearly drop-off. Clement started the season as our ace, but now has pitched like a four or five pitcher in the rotation.

David Wells has probably had the best number of games out of any pitcher of the stuff. Wells doesn't walk many, but he seems to allow a good number of hits when he stuff isn't on because it still is over the plate. Wells has been good, but he isn't any sort of ace.

Tim Wakefield has the stuff to be an ace; he's had the stuff since coming to Boston. But as a knuckleballer he isn't consistent enough to be relied on all the time like Curt Schilling was, maybe is. Wakefield is valuable, but not consistent.

I could run through the rest of the rotation, but I think we are going to need two guys to be great down the stretch and in the playoffs: Bronson Arroyo and Clement.

We can't say Arroyo doesn't have the stuff to be a two pitcher in the rotation. He has great stuff, and I really think he'll be able to turn around his season. Arroyo seems to work in another mentality when he needs to. The best pitchers do. Clement is the same. Clement has struggled, but he has the ability to really light it up when he needs to.

In the post-season, I believe Arroyo and Clement's success will be huge on how we perform. Obviously Curt Schilling is a factor, but I have a strong feeling we will rely very heavily on both Arroyo and Clement.