While I am usually a Sports Guy defender, I didn’t make it past this paragraph in his “running diary” of last night’s shenanigans. Bolded part is all me.
8:23: Paul Byrd strikes out David Ortiz for a 1-2-3 first inning as the Cleveland fans explode and wave their white towels in delight. Remember the days when the 2007 Red Sox bled pitch counts? They ended about three days ago without any real explanation. I don’t get it. I continue to be mystified by this sudden collapse-in-progress, as well as the manager’s abject unwillingness to shake things up in any way. Bizarre.
Um, how about right about that time the Indians pitchers started throwing strikes? Kind of makes it tough to bleed pitch counts. Also making it tough are guys who occasionally can’t hit and have decided that now is that occasion: JD, Coco and Lugo. And maybe Dusty too, but I feel bad lumping him in there. And Varitek, despite the home run.
Then again, that is Simmons (and no, this post is not an allowance for the haters to expand on their Simmons hate – let’s stay on subject). But over at Baseball Prospectus, supposedly a level-headed site, there was a blog entry that began:
Terry Francona certainly has Josh Beckett’s best interests in heart, not wanting to overtax his best pitcher. However, the Boston Red Sox manager might have cost his team a shot at the World Series by not pitching his ace on short rest in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday night.
Wait… does anyone blame Wakefield for last night’s loss? I sure don’t. He pitched wonderfully. If anything, one could get on Francona for taking Wakefield out after one botched DP ball and one ree-diculous hit by Victor Martinez, but it would be tough to predict Manny D’s complete implosion. Starting Wakefield was obviously the right move (says me, anyway).
The bright side is that the people who are hitting are hitting it hard even when they make outs. Outside of the homers, Cleveland has been finding the holes. It’s bound to reverse at some point. Isn’t it?