Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wrong Question? Beckett. Right Question? Ellsbury.

Game 3 was one of those dreadful Red Sox games where you knew the game was over the second Coco Soggy (clever! witty! huzzah!) grounded into that double play to end the second inning. (Can Coco Crisp do anything at the plate other than ground out to shortstop?) Bases loaded, no outs, then Tek pops up and Crisp gets doubled up and the game is over.

There's a lot to get angry about but the most glaring problem is that the entire bottom of the line-up is filled with dead men walking: Drew (who can only ground out to first), Tek, Crisp, Lugo. Horrendous. There's no energy, no life. Just frustration on our part watching guys who are too comfortable go out and suck up the night.

So of course what ESPN wants to talk about to lead off SportsCenter is whether Terry Francona is making a mistake in not starting Beckett tonight on three day's rest. Three days rest almost never works and yet the media always wants to talk about it. It's silly and stupid. Beckett can, at most, only pitch you to two more wins, so you're going to need Wake or Schil or Matsuzaka to win a game. Wake's rested. Start him. If he's not a guy you can trust to win this game for you (he did win 17 games this season) then he shouldn't be on the playoff roster.
Obviously, Wake's not as good as Beckett (there's a reason he's the #4 starter), but better to take the chance he can outpitch Paul Byrd than outpitch Sabathia or Carmona.

No, the real question people should be asking is why is the team's second best OF sitting on the bench when Coco Crisp and JD Drew are out there looking hapless and hopeless. Neither of them even looks like they want to play and while you can't read too much into body language, you can read plenty into .227.

Which they're both hitting this postseason.

They've combined for only:

1) 10 hits - all singles except for one double by Soggy, which means Drew, the team's #6 hitter, has a slugging percentage that's NO HIGHER than his batting average. That's the very definition of suckage.

2) 5 RBIs (3 for Drew).

3) 1 walk (Soggy).

They're not alone in their postseason steamer, either. Tek and Pedroia are hitting .160. Lugo's at .238.

Yeah, how is this team still playing?

Get Ellsbury in the line-up. He'll add some life to a lifeless bottom half of the line-up.

Here's the post-Game 3 Useless Countdown update. Jeter held off Manny and Lofton everywhere except in Times on Base, where Manny caught him, but is vulnerable to be passed tonight in Runs, Hits, and RBIs. The good news for Jeter, though, is that he apparently still leads the league in postseason threesomes.

Red signifies a failure to pass Jeter or Bernie. Blue signifies moving into a tie. Green signifies a pass achieved in this series. Parenthetical indicates the stats accumulated in Game 3.

1st place all-time: Bernie Williams, 31
2nd all-time: Derek Jeter, 25
Kenny Lofton, 23 (1)
Manny Ramirez, 19 (0)

1st place all-time: Bernie Williams, 52
3rd place all-time: Derek Jeter, 44
Kenny Lofton, 43 (1)
Manny Ramirez, 41 (1)

1st place all-time: Bernie Williams, 89
Manny Ramierez, 72 (1)
Derek Jeter, 68

1st place all-time: Bernie Williams, 9 & Manny Ramirez, 9 (0)

1st place all-time: Bernie Williams, 33
6th place all-time: Derek Jeter, 20
Manny, 19 (0)
Lofton, 15 (2)

2nd place all-time: Bernie Williams, 25
Manny Ramirez, 22 (1)
Derek Jeter, 20
Kenny Lofton, 14 (1)

2nd place all-time: Bernie Williams, 33
Kenny Lofton, 32 (0)
Derek Jeter, 31
Manny Ramirez, 28 (1)

1st place all-time: Bernie Williams, 19
3rd place all-time: Derek Jeter & Manny Ramirez, 13 (0)
Kenny Lofton, 11 (1)

1st place all-time: Bernie Williams, 78
4th place all-time: Derek Jeter, 64 & Manny Ramirez, 64 (2)
Kenny Lofton, 57 (1)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The R.Sox are doing against the Indians what the Angels were doing against the R.Sox--a lot of groundballs and popflies and an inability to move the runner along to "manufacture" runs. Of course, the Angels were better at not doing these things than the R.Sox are now, but it all seems vaguely familiar. Perhaps the Indians can wrap up the series and do a lot of nothing against the Rockies and let them go 11-0 in the postseason. As a fan that would suck, but as someone who likes to watch the futility of BudSelig, I would enjoy watching him squirm. Without NewYork (either one) or Boston in the World Series, how is Selig going to justify the existence of Major League Baseball. Maybe he and everyone in his office should consider making their TV affiliates nationally broadcast the so-called small market teams more often. I mean, does America even realize what an exciting team the Rockies are? Do people realize what a legitimately good team the Indians are? This isn't a fluke; last year was a fluke. Of course, no one knows because Selig&cronies don't have enough imagination to nationally market teams not named the Yanks or the R.Sox. [Here ends the daily broadcast of my anti-Selig propaganda.]