Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Still, It's Nice to Have a Bullpen

The 'jays smacked the ball all over the field tonight, tearing up the basepaths to hand our boys one for the loss column, where that one game in Texas last week was starting to get a little bit lonely. Now those canadians are not quite as meek at the plate as Josh and Jon(athan) made them seem yesterday, but they had a little help tonight.

Mr. No-I'm-not-ready-but-gimme-the-damn-ball Wells was about as good as I expected in his first start of the year. I'm not too concerned. He couldn't get anything where he wanted it, but he fought on, and he sharpened up as it went on. Maybe Gabe the babe came by with one of those brownie/cookies as a morale boost in the second- and it worked for awhile. I wonder if Wells has trouble pitching in cold weather? It would be strange, as he certainly has the most insulation of anyone on the team, but it would explain why he's so desperate to get back to San Diego. And why he sucks so hard in the springtime.

I think Boomer will be back to his unhittable ways soon, if not the next start then surely by the 22nd, when he's due to face the Blue Jays again. He may be a cranky bastard, but he sure is a good man to have on the mound when he shows up with his curveball and can hit his spots. In fact, I bet some of those west coast teams will be salivating over him by mid-june (just in time for roger to sign up in his place.)

At least the game never got too out of hand, and Tito wasn't shy about seeing Wellsie out in the fifth. There's an extra swagger to Terry this year, it seems. He's settled in and will not waffle about taking the ball. 'Course, that could have a little bit to do with having another arm to go to.

Funny thing about our bullpen this year: we have a couple of new characters, but a whole lot of familiar faces. And yet it's like night and day from last year. And in pitching terms, this year's the night.

Ok, so Lenny and Rudy were not exactly "lights out" tonight, but they were pretty decent. They each let an inherited run score. They both got into some trouble, and they both got out of it. Lenny worked himself out of a bases-loaded, no out, about-to-unleash-a-nightmare "situation" in the sixth and followed it up with a three-minute top of the seventh. It was seriously shorter than an American Idol commercial break. And not just by one thirty-second spot, either. Rudy rebounded from his disasterous appearance in Baltimore and managed to demonstrate the reason he made it onto the roster. (And if he wants to stay there, he'd better keep it up; another appearance like last Friday anytime soon, and the nation will be yelling for the axe. Forgive us, we've still got a short fuse from the carnage witnessed last year.)

So we didn't win. But we had a chance. Our "B" group kept us in the game, which is better than what our "A" group was capable of half the time last year. And we get another go at 'em tomorrow, with Mattie Clement at the helm. If we see anything like Matt's first six innings at Camden, captain cupcake will become but a distant memory (one we hope not to re-live anytime soon.)

Time for some strong beer for Wells-He was hung over for that Perfect Game. He's not pitching as well because he's SOBER.
Wells never gave us a chance. But I also think he will only get better. With his lack of spring training work, he is behind. But I hope he gets it together quickly. It's tough to write off a loss before the first pitch is thrown, and that was the general feeling last night, aptly reinforced by Boomer's pitches. Schill today. Thank goodness.
Of course I was mistaken, and meant Mattie Clement.
Wells performed pretty much as I expected he would last night, which sucks, because if I know he's going to suck, should'nt The Sox management know it?

The Sox seemed like they had a chance to make a game of it, just nobody on base for those home runs...
michael- a compelling theory, for sure, but Boomer's been a #2 & #1 pitcher for most of his career. He's pitched an awful lot of good games, and I'm sure he's been sober for a good many of them.

peter- with our lineup, seven runs is not insurmountable. At least he got some work in, and thanks to the A's and Angels last week, we could afford it.

Mr B&W- (hey!) yeah, we all knew it, but I think by that time (with Pappy smokin' up the closer's role) there were few alternatives. But if we knew it, why were they about to send Lenny down to RI? That would have been terrible, and not just in hindsight. Lenny's our long-man, and if you think you starter might blow, ya keep your long-man fresh and ready.
Tonight, Schilling was the Schilling of Old & Pap was good.

Watched at home on MLB TV online;
Got the FSN-Northwest Feed & not NESN, strange for a game in Fenway, with me living in Queens;

WS '86 Game 6 Hero Dave "Hendu" Henderson, of 10th Inning 2 Run Homer Fame, was lead commentator. Tonight was a blast from the '86 & '04 Past.
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