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Blog Entry

Rays, Red Sox need a Gallardo-like performance

Posted on: April 7, 2011 4:59 pm
Edited on: April 7, 2011 6:50 pm
 
By Matt Snyder

I love stats, including the overwhelming majority of the sabermetrics. I love the concept behind using the largest sample possible and not overreacting to just a few games. It's just that there's something no number can account for, and that's the fact that human beings are playing baseball. Robots wouldn't press or make mental errors. Humans do. And when you enter a season with big expectations, starting with a string of losses really can mentally wear on a team.

So if you look specifically at the Red Sox and Rays, an 0-6 start is bad. You can talk about it being early (it is) of how much of the season is left (96.3 percent of it, in fact), but until that elusive first victory is achieved, the players who genuinely care are going to start carrying around an enormous weight on their collective chests. If you strongly disagree with that sentiment, you either A) have never played baseball; or B) believe that making millions of dollars leaves players void of human emotions. Or both.

What the Rays and Red Sox need right now is to get a dominant performance from someone. It doesn't even matter who. Whether it's a pitcher throwing a shutout or an offensive player dropping three bombs in a game, someone has to explode and it will set everyone else at ease. It could even be a big inning early in a game from the entire offense -- as jumping out to something like a 6-0 lead would do wonders for the psyche. From there, things get back to normal and they can just play ball.

Look no further than the Milwaukee Brewers. Just three days ago, the sky was falling in Milwaukee. A team many expected to win the NL Central -- or at the very least, push the Reds -- had started 0-4.

Enter Yovani Gallardo. The 25-year-old pitcher put the team on his back, throwing a two-hit shutout against a potent Braves' offense. The bullpen had already blown two wins, so he just fired a complete game. The offense hadn't been firing on all cylinders, so he just didn't allow a run. Boom, losing streak over and the entire club can relax and just play baseball.

Low and behold, the Brewers have now won three games in a row and sit at 3-4. That isn't great, but it's not horrible -- especially after starting with the Reds and Braves and being without Zack Greinke and Corey Hart. You can call it a progression to mean if you want, and it is. But someone had to step up and get the team on track. Gallardo did.

All it takes is one game to get everyone out of the funk and relax. The Red Sox and Rays just need someone to step up and pull a Gallardo. Then they can concentrate on the 95-plus percent of the season that remains.

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Comments

Since: May 6, 2007
Posted on: April 7, 2011 8:16 pm
 

Rays, Red Sox need a Gallardo-like performance

What the Red Sox and Rays need is a game against each other, that way someone would have to win.



Since: Feb 17, 2008
Posted on: April 7, 2011 7:40 pm
 

Rays, Red Sox need a Gallardo-like performance

So all the Red Sox or Rays have to do is have a pitcher throw a shut out or batter hit 3 home runs?  Gosh, I bet their coaches are just kicking themselves for not thinking of that.  I bet their pitchers weren't even trying to get anyone out. After the offseason, they probably completely forgot that if your team scores more runs than the other team's, you win the game.  Another way to win a game would be if your pitcher throws a perfect game, and one of your batters gets an RBI.  Or, what if your pitching staff gives up 3 runs, but your clean up hitter hits a walkoff grand slam in the 9th inning?  Wow! That would probably get your whole team pumped up!  I'm sure coaches are going to read this article and start coming up with all kinds of strategies for scoring more runs than their opponents. Oh, but what if both coaches read this article and learn your secret about how to win? 



Since: Nov 19, 2007
Posted on: April 7, 2011 6:47 pm
 

Rays, Red Sox need a Gallardo-like performance

Gallardo also scored the only run in that game....



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