18 Aug 2007
This is not good. Eric Gagne has been just terrible. His control is off and his velocity is all over the map. I’m not sure this deal is working out. Last night, after a spirited rally to take a 5-4 lead, Gagne came in to close the game and coughed it up.
Now, turning on excuse mode, Gagne’s role has been muddy of late. He was a closer upon getting traded, he came to Boston and has been asked to be a set-up guy and last night he was asked to close again. Perhaps Gagne is having trouble with his changing job description.
Excuse mode off.
This is a time where a veteran like Mike Timlin needs to sit down with Gagne and tell him to A.) relax and B.) tell him he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. Only a veteran offer of support like that will help in my opinion. But just as important is Gagne’s willingness to listen. Gagne is at a fork in the road. Take a left and he can look back at his Boston experience as one of his worst, most painful jobs ever. Take a right and he can make the best of his situation and look back at it as a great time. Granted, his ability to throw strikes and get people out is the main component of that left/right fork in the road choice, but getting his head screwed on straight is the most important thing. If he is healthy mentally, he can take a right.
Overshadowed by the Gagne debacle was the debut of Clay Buchholz. He pitched 6 solid innings and proved why people are excited. I think is is great that he goes back to Pawtucket with a bit more knowledge about what it takes at the major league level and works on his game.
Wily Mo Pena was traded to the Nationals along with cash considerations for a PTBNL. We learn the name of that player after the playoffs.
Jacoby Ellsbury played in game 2 last night (once Buchholz was sent back down) and it seems Bobby Kielty will be activated for today’s game forcing a return to AAA by Ellsbury.
Lastly, Doug Mirabelli was put on the DL with a calf strain and Kevin Cash, Pawtucket’s catcher, was summoned. The transaction wire was busy yesterday.