Playing catch-up…baseball edition…

*David Price.  A couple of weeks ago, I said I wasn’t concerned about Price, despite his bad numbers.  I still can’t say that I am concerned.  But I have to tell you, we really need to see more…and soon.  13 starts into the season, 7-3, 4.63 just ain’t gonna cut it for $31 mil.  Especially when the rest of the staff sucks, other than a knuckleballer that could implode himself at any time now.

I know he’s pitched better recently.  But take the other night.  I know it sounds stupid to get on a guy that threw a complete game 3-hitter and only lost 2-1.  But let’s look a little deeper.  Price has had some games in which he got bombed, inflating the ERA.  He also has had some games where he gave up some runs right out of the gate.  This game?  A few things that an bona-fide ace should just not let happen.

Top of 4, Chris Young gives the Sox a 1-0 lead by dropping one in the seats.  What does Price do?  Gives it right back in the bottom of the 4th when he hangs one to Brandon Belt.

Bottom of the 7th.  Price is at 60-something pitches and cruising right along, despite the blip to Belt.  Then he throws like 30 pitches against the murderer’s row of Matt Duffy, Brandon Crawford, Trevor Brown and Jarrett Parker.  No runs, but…he should be blowing those guys away on at least half the pitches.

Bottom of the 8th.  Gives up leadoff homer to .190 hitting (.208 in 53 career at-bats) Mac Williamson.  Who??!

A three hitter against a National League team without Buster Posey and basically only Belt as a real threat is no huge accomplishment.  I’ll take it…but combined with his postgame comments about how “I have 7 wins and about a 5 ERA, I will get better.”  Should he be happy he has a near 5 ERA in the middle of June?  I don’t think anyone else is.

*This is why the Sox need to go get Yordano Ventura.  Well, there are many reasons.  The rotation stinks.  The organizational pitching depth is thin.  But most importantly, you may be able to get Ventura cheap…or cheaper than previously anyway.

If Kansas City truly does want to unload him, then he is worth a shot.  Sure, the numbers are down and he is flammable.  But he is still only 25 and throws gas.  Supposedly he is being “mentored” by Pedro Martinez.  Can that be a bad thing?  Pedro was a hothead and threw gas.  I’m not saying Yordano is going to be Pedro.  But I am saying Ventura is absolutely a risk worth taking, if the price is right.

*Hey, did you all know that Ichiro Suzuki is only 5 hits away from tying Pete Rose’s all-time hit record of 4,256?  Haha, no he isn’t.  I am combining his 1,278 hits in Japan with the 2,973 he has in the States.  And no, for the record, I don’t count his Japan hits.  Those are equivalent to hits accumulated in the minor leagues.

I broach the subject simply because for the past couple of years I have anticipated a lot of hoopla around Ichiro once he got “close” to Rose.  I figured a lot of jamokes would try to combine the totals and make a huge deal of it as he approached the number.  Especially since most of the people related to baseball would love for any way to erase Charlie Hustle from the record books.  I figured they’d be all over this…as bogus as it would be.  I am actually amazed I haven’t heard a peep.

That being said, being 27 hits away from 3k in the States alone is pretty impressive after his late start in the country.

*Madison Bumgarner in the Home Run Derby during the All-Star Game festivities?  Sign me up!!  Why the hell not?  The stodgy old baseball people will never let this happen.  But the game is for the fans and I guarantee the fans would eat it all up.  Just do it!!

*Joe Kelly to Pawtucket, Clay Buchholz to the bullpen.  I still want John Farrell fired…more on that later.  But I’ll give him some credit for making these moves, and the Fat Panda move at the start of the season, among other moves that he normally wouldn’t make.  Of course, Dave Dombrowski most assuredly gave Farrell his approval to make them.  But still…Farrell isn’t kowtowing to the veterans, as he has historically done.

In any event, Kelly stinks.  This has been no secret.  The St. Louis Cardinals always seem to know the right guys to get rid of (hello, Allen Craig!).  Why he has not been tried in the bullpen for one inning max is beyond me.  Maybe it’s because Curt Schilling is right.  Schilling, you say?  Pfffft…that guy is a gasbag!  That may be true.  But he knows pitching.  And in an interview earlier this week, he said “there is no ceiling to the numbers if Kelly had a baseball IQ.”  Ouch!  Schill then went into detail for his claim, basically saying that he doesn’t learn, but has amazing stuff.  So why aren’t coaches straightening this stiff out?  Got me.  Seems that it is then on the player.  And at 28 years old (Happy Birthday yesterday Joe!), that is not going to change.  Time to try something else…like the bullpen.

As for Bucky, I honestly can’t believe they went this route…to mop-up man.  I didn’t think they would release him.  And they can’t send him to the minors.  Perhaps a trade, but that wouldn’t happen overnight.  And with the organizational pitching depth being so thin, unfortunately, it is probably a good idea to keep him around…because when he is right (physically AND mentally), he can be dominant.

I think everyone fully expected him to get yet another phantom injury and spend a month on the DL and then several more weeks in Pawtucket on rehab…until he felt like he wanted to pitch up here again probably.  I would’ve likely still done that.  Because now you may completely lose the fragile (physically AND mentally) Bucky by burying him at the back of the ‘pen.  Maybe it was a new method to get him to take his head out of his arse.  We will see how it works out.

Unfortunately, I bet we see how Bucky responds to the demotion sooner rather than later.  The next time the Sox need a 5th starter, I would bet good money it is him.  Sigh…and I’m not going to expect different results.

*Psycho Steve Lyons said on a recent broadcast that “Hanley Ramirez is a Gold Glove first basemen.”  Also, “Name me who’s better out there now?”  ALSO, “He has made the infielders around him BETTER.”  Ummmmmm…Hanley has been serviceable at first.  But those comments from Lyons are borderline grounds for termination.

*Something that may only interest me…but I found it funny.  A week or so ago, the Sox called on the immortal Noe Ramirez to close out a blowout loss.  Noe comes in and can’t see the signs Vazquez is throwing down.  So Vasky wipes his hand in the chalk around home plate.  Presumably he can now see them.  I thought he had glasses?  Anyway, Noe then proceeds to give up back-to-back bombs.  I found a lot of humor in that for some reason.  Guess actually seeing the signs didn’t matter…

*If Jackie Bradley Jr. and some other prospects that are highly touted but have been deemed expendable can get me a legitimate #2 starter, I am doing it.  I’m still not buying in, sorry.  He’s gotta do it at the plate for a longer stretch than a month at a time.

I don’t dislike the guy, but I also don’t like him now being lumped into the “untouchable” group with Xander and Mookie.  He is not on the same level and too many people are putting him there.  Sure, he has value if he hits .250 and plays his exceptional defense.  But maybe Andrew Benintendi can do that too.  Or some other dude.  I’m striking while the iron is hot.  Let’s see what’s out there.

*Carson Smith is out for the year, Roenis Elias is in Pawtucket and as previously mentioned millions of times, the Sox rotation is not good.  But don’t tell me that Wade Miley is the answer.  5.27 ERA in Seattle as we speak.  Seattle…isn’t that a pitcher’s park?  I’m all set, but thank you.

*Finishing up with more Johnny Farrell.  God, I hope he never has to manage in the National League at all.  We saw what that would be like in the 2013 World Series, when it looked like he had no idea what a double-switch was, among other head-scratchers.  And we were then reminded on Wednesday night.

Tight game in San Francisco.  No need to go to your bench early.  Just because they took Bumgarner out and put in a righty, in a 1-1 game, there was no need to hit Travis Shaw for Josh Rutledge in the 7th inning.  Rutledge is not all that great, but Shaw has been slumping.  What’s the difference at that point?  Maybe later in the game for Rutledge, sure.  But when you have Vazquez and Price “hitting” also, it would’ve likely been better to save Shaw for later regardless.

Then the 9th.  Hanley gets on 2nd with no out, as Williamson drops his fly ball.  Nice gift.  I’m not sure I would’ve had Bradley bunt next, but probably would’ve leaned that way.  A hot hitter in Chris Young was up next and with one out a fly ball gets the tying run home.  With cool bats behind Young, it may have been the best move.  I guess you can’t blame Farrell for Bradley taking two close strikes to fan, but still…

So Young is due and Farrell HITS for him.  The guy is on fire, but just because it is supposed to be a righty-righty matchup and he still had David Ortiz at his disposal, Farrell feels like it is the move to make at this time.  Stupid because 1.  Young is hot, against lefties and righties.  2.  They would undoubtedly bring in a lefty to face Papi.  3.  They wouldn’t pitch to Papi regardless, with first base open and cold or terrible bats to follow.  How does he not see this?

Papi predictably walks.  Shaw predictably K’s against the lefty Lopez.  Marco Hernandez, hitting for Vasky, probably predictably grounds out and the game is over.  And Rusney Castillo was used as a pinch runner for Ortiz, so the only bat left on the bench to bat for Price if it got to that point?  Sandy Leon!  No one left if necessary for extra innings either.  Solid effort…keep up the great work Johnny…

 

 

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About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on June 10, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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