Am I Crying Wolf?

As I write this, the Red Sox and Tigers are in the 7th inning of the final of their 4 games. Curt Schilling looked old. He had command issues and lacked velocity (an ongoing theme). When pitchers start doing things frequently that they have rarely done previously (like walk in a run. Schilling has done it twice this year, 5 times previously in his career), it makes you wonder.

 

Do I think Schilling is done? No, but he may be entering a new phase of his career. It’s like the old age process.

 

Phase One – Independent Living Facility
Phase Two – Assisted Living
Phase Three – Nursing Home Care
Phase Four – Phase Out

 

Schilling might not be ready for Phase Out, but he might have made the leap from Assisted Living to Nursing Home Care. Let’s hope not. The stats certainly suggest otherwise:

 

Entering Thursday’s game: 52 IP, 54 H, 21 ER, 11 BB, 41 K, 3.63 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 4-1 record.

 

I’ll take that I suppose. He did manage to battle his way through 6 tonight all the while giving his team the chance to win.

 

So the Red Sox are up 9 games on the Yankees. There are so many that think this is an insurmountable lead. I disagree. I’ve written this before, but last year they gained 5.5 games on the Red Sox in only 13 days and overcame a 1.5 game deficit and turned it into an 11 game lead in about 45 days. And given the Yankees budget and current talent, it could happen if the Red Sox lose focus.

 

Enough wolf crying. Let’s enjoy some good Red Sox baseball.

 

One transaction that caught my eye today was the signing of Michael Tucker to a minor league deal. Tucker hasn’t been good since…well, ever, but his best years are behind him. He is a decent defensive outfielder with some speed (114 career SB’s) and average pop (.423 career slg). At his age, he’d be a bench player at best.

 

Why did they sign him? Certainly Pawtucket doesn’t need help. My guess, and you read it here first, is that Boston is packaging Wily Mo Pena for a trade. A trade for what/whom? I don’t know, but my guess is Pena, due for another hefty arbitration pay hike this off-season, will be sent packing, a clear admission that Boston made a big mistake trading Bronson Arroyo. There, etched in stone.

 

Then again, Pena might be the starting LF for Boston in 2009 and hit 40 HR’s. Pena certainly is an enigma. He has 50 HR power and 200 K’s plate discipline.

 

While the game isn’t over, Eric Hinske has had a great game. His first few innings were filled with challenging defensive plays, followed by one of the best catches I’ve seen this year in terms of athletic ability and also in terms of importance, and he hit a go-ahead 2-run home run in the 7th.

 

Let’s hope they hold the lead.

 

Atlanta this weekend, assuming the rain holds off.