A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Matt Albers

The Padres tied the game at 3-3, but there seems to be this mentality on the Red Sox... open up and kill whatever comes at them without mercy. There's no prejudice. It's just attack, attack, attack. Last night was a 14-5 drubbing after the 10-run 7th. Sunday was a 6-run first off Yovanni Gallardo, who looked abysmal.
Monday, the Padres ended Wade Leblanc's no decision with a brutal drubbing that featured no home runs, but it did feature a lot of offense. Adrian Gonzalez hit a single and double in the 7th inning alone (3 RBIs for that endless beating).
Ellsbury is now batting .311.
Adrian Gonzalez is now batting a Major League leading .353.
Big Sluggi is now hitting .323.
And while Pedroia and Youkilis aren't exactly dominating, it's not like they're slouches and schlubs either.
In the end, while there were only 14 hits, the Red Sox took 9 base on balls. When the fear is there that a team is so scared to pitch to offensive dominence, it comes out in other ways. That's what happens when you have a pair of glorified AAA pitchers coming in to stop the bleeding, but instead, they let the dam burst all over the place.
And what a mess it was. The fact that Carl Crawford and JD Drew weren't even in the game and the fact that Jason Varitek and Mike Cameron were says that every night in June (save 3) has been a turkey shoot.
From humbling 0-6 beginnings, Boston is now a major league 2nd best 44-28 (they played 1 game less than the Phillies who have the best record). On April 15th, they were 2-10 after a loss to the Blue Jays, which followed up a sweep by the Rays. The only team that the Red Sox were beating was the Yankees (they still are - other than that 1 loss to the Bronx Bombers on that series, they've been brutalizing them in spite of Terry Francona's "managerial skills" (i.e. feeling his puppet strings pulled when it comes to replacing a pitcher or making a lineup.
Last night, mid reliever Matt Albers came in for the win. He now has a 3.08 ERA with a 2-3 record. He's not great. He won't be in Phoenix in a few weeks, but the role of the bullpen and pitching staff seems to be protect the division lead from the Yankees and the Rays and don't mess up worse than the offense can cover your ass. With Lackey sucking and Matsuzaka and Bucholz injured, it's a matter of carrying the team through the dark times and building up an insurmountable lead. We can live with that.
This week is San Diego and a better than usual Pirates team. In short, there are going to be a lot of wins. However, the followup series is against Philadalphia at Citizen's Bank. The World Series preview is about to be upon us. Fortunately, my refrigerator is stocked with Yuengling (the good stuff). Nothing like heating things up on the baseball burner when the weather is already 90 degrees.

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