Blog Entry

Red Sox Recap 4-6-08

Posted on: April 6, 2008 6:48 pm

The Red Sox got swept by the Blue Jays on the finale of their long road trip. Some thoughts on today's game:

Josh Beckett had a fair first start of the season. Three of the five runs he gave up came via a grand slam that Manny Delcarmen gave up when Beckett left the game with the bases loaded. Beckett was throwing well throughout the first three innings, but looked as if his strength was running out heading into the fourth inning. The Sox will be happy with the performance, and by his next start, Beckett should regan a form similar to last year.

Kyle Synder turned out to be the odd man out as he was desginated for assignment to make room for Beckett. It was anticipated that the Sox would designate either David Aardsma or Bryan Corey, mostly because Synder could fulfill more duties as a long reliever/emergency starter and because he had been with the team since the 2006 season. However, in retrospect, it seems like a sensible move. Synder filled the same role as Julian Tavarez, but Tavarez has more experience and is, by all accounts, a better pitcher. Corey had his second consecutive disaster outing yesterday, so it would seem that he would be the most likely pitcher to get dropped when Mike Timlin comes back, but the ax could easily fall on Aardsma or Javier Lopez.

J.D. Drew continues to hit well in this early season, being the most effective hitter for the Sox thus far. Drew seems to have imporved his swing much like he did last September, but he did start out batting over .333 for the first few weeks of the 2007 season only to finish with a .270 average. It is encouraging that he is hitting consistently with power, something he never did last year. However, even though Drew, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia and Jason Varitek are holding their own on offense, the fate of this team's offensive hopes rest on getting their 3-5 hitters going. Manny Ramirez is doing OK, but Mike Lowell and David Ortiz are really struggling. All three picked up a hit today, but they need to show that they can up their production when they return to Fenway.

Frank Thomas has Manny Delcarmen's number. Some hitters just "figure out" certain pitchers, and Thomas has Delcarmen lined up perfectly, after he took him deep twice in two days. Delcarmen has now been struggling, his 4.50 ERA not showing the inherited runners that he has allowed. As Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon both pitched perfect innings, with Papelbon striking out the side in the ninth, the question of who will handle the seventh inning gap has not gone away. Delcarmen seems to be on a different level than Aardsma, Lopez and Julian Tavarez, and should be the guy to handle that role, he needs to show that he is a better pitcher than he has shown in this Toronto series. However, he is pitching as if he didn't have much of a spring training, which is typical of the young pitchers, by leaving off-speed pitchers up in the zone and not trusting his outstanding fastball.

Look for this recap after Tuesday's home opener when the World Series rings are presented. (To view previous recaps, follow this link.)
Keep the Faith.


Since: Aug 16, 2007
Posted on: April 7, 2008 9:32 pm

Red Sox Recap 4-6-08

Thanks for the good words. I can relate to what you say about conflicting feelings about players on your fantasy team going head-to-head with the home team. As it is, I have Chien-Ming Wang and Melky Cabrera on my fantasy team, so things will get very interesting next week. But in general, you have to resist the temptation to bench good players just because they are playing against your home team. Play the players who have the best match-ups for that week. But remember, the real games are the ones that the Sox are playing, not our "fantasy" games.

Since: Mar 28, 2008
Posted on: April 7, 2008 2:27 am

Red Sox Recap 4-6-08

Good blog... hope you stick to it. That's going to be a LOT of blogs... more power to ya.

I also have Lowell on my fantasy squad. Other than injured players (on my team, Victor Martinez and Gary Sheffield, for example), Lowell was definitely a fantasy dud this week... one of the worst in the league I'm in. Just to put this out there, I have Manny Ramirez and Josh Beckett as well. Beckett will be on my bench in Week 2 like he was this week because I don't like his matchup (and numbers) against the Yankees.

But I'm hoping the home cooking and home crowd will put a little life into Boston's bats. It's nice to see their role players hitting the ball like they are... Jacoby Ellsbury's homer off of Roy Halladay was sweet (and Varitek's)... but we need production from the Sox' big 3. (Manny, Ortiz, and Lowell)

I was very conflicted watching the game today though. Halladay and Vernon Wells are also starters for my fantasy team... I hate it when you are put in a position to somewhat root for individuals on "the enemy" teams the Sox play. Definitely a conflict of interest being a Sox' fan.

Hear about the Jake Peavy "dirty hand" thing yet??? If not, check it out... (Peavy is also on my fantasy team)

Since: Aug 16, 2007
Posted on: April 6, 2008 10:07 pm

Red Sox Recap 4-6-08

Thanks for the praise. I think that Mike Lowell is suffering from the extended road trip, and not just because of the traveling. Lowell depends more on the friendly hitting confines of Fenway park than any other player on the Red Sox. The fact is, and Lowell knew this when he was deciding who to sign with in this past off-season, Lowell is only a mediocre hitter on any other team when he doesn't get to spray hits all over the Green Monster for 81 games out of the season. Lowell realized that he would not get the money in other markets because of this, and he would not be able to put up numbers of .320-25-110 in any other park. I would be very surprised if Lowell doesn't pick up the slack when he gets back to Fenway, and your fantasy team should make out just fine at third base. But be wary for next season: as Lowell gets up there in age, he will not put up record setting seasons the way he did last year, with or without Fenway.

Since: Mar 29, 2008
Posted on: April 6, 2008 8:48 pm

Red Sox Recap 4-6-08

I have Mike Lowell on my fantasy team and was wondering where his bat has gone.

Outstanding recap with significant insight.  Thanks.

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