This is Sad

The Red Sox stand at 0-6. I know, there are 156 games left. That’s fine, but this is a Red Sox edition that A.) you wouldn’t expect to start the year 0-6 and B.) you wouldn’t expect to lose 6 games in a row at any point in the season. I guess the Boston Herald is sorry they declared the 2011 Red Sox as the best Red Sox team ever.

Who knows, maybe they’ll wind up as the best Red Sox team ever, but right now, they have the record of the worst Red Sox team ever.

What worries me is the fact they are sleep-walking through each inning, each pitch, each at bat. Additionally, Kevin Youkilis didn’t hit in spring training and hasn’t hit thus far in 2011 which makes me worry about the health of his surgically repaired thumb/hand.

Here are some averages after 6 games:

.167 – Ellsbury
.174 – Crawford
.227 – Pedroia
.304 – Gonzalez
.105 – Youkilis
.231 – Drew
.071 – Saltalamacchia
.176 – Scutaro

Wow.

Here are some ERAs:

22.09 – Lackey
16.88 – Bard
16.20 – Reyes
11.57 – Wheeler
9.00 – Papelbon (granted only 1 IP)
5.68 – Buchholz
5.40 – Matsuzaka
5.40 – Beckett
3.68 – Lester
0.00 – Jenks

It seems a spark is necessary and what sparks a team? How ’bout a good old fashion dust-up? A brawl. Or something, anything to get them charged up. Something tells me the greeting they get a Fenway tomorrow for the Home Opener, might just be the spark they need. Aren’t you aware that JD Drew, John Lackey and many others are going to hear boos tomorrow?

I’m not saying that is a classy thing to do by Red Sox fans, but if the Red Sox can use that to their advantage and as a rallying point, then boo away.

Hey, it’s not all bad. The last Red Sox team, according to Yahoo! Sports, to start 0-6 was the 1945 Red Sox, and they went to the World Series. Oh wait, no they didn’t, they finished 71-83! Get it together Red Sox, I’m not having fun yet.

Thankfully, It Rained

Count me as someone happy for a rainout tonight. Considering the state of the bullpen and the lineup Joe Girardi was going with (Posada, Martin and Jeter on the bench) the rain is probably a blessing for the Yankees.

As for the bullpen, I have two thoughts about last night’s debacle. While I don’t think Girardi deserves the guff he has gotten over using Soriano up 4-0 in the 8th, I am confused as to why he did. His explanation that Soriano is his “8th inning guy” doesn’t make a lot of sense because it doesn’t define when you need to use your “8th inning guy”. Does 5-0 require his services? 6-0, 7-0 or 8-0? Probably not, but why did 4-0, especially when you had David Robertson, a guy you have shown a lot of trust in, ready to go? I wish I had heard a more coherent answer to that question.

Now, I would imagine Girardi was thinking about getting three outs from Soriano to make the Twins chances of a comeback even slimmer before turning the ninth over to Robertson or someone else if the Yankees added to their lead. It didn’t work out, but that’s baseball and I don’t have a problem with the idea, just the explanation.

My second thought is that it is absolutely ridiculous how the press reacted to Soriano’s “snub” of them last night. The guy was drawn and quartered in the morning papers because he didn’t stick around to tell everyone how badly he pitched. I get that they have a job to do, but Soriano didn’t deserve the treatment he got this morning. I am not defending what he did, he should have stayed at his locker and answered questions, but let’s not pretend he committed some heinous crime either. I was always told that one of the basic rules of journalism was to not make yourself part of the story. It seems to me like a number of beat reporters forgot that this morning.
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So now the Twins series is a best-of-three. I imagine Joe Girardi will tinker a bit with today’s lineup because he has 3 day games in a row followed by a night game and a day off. Seems like a good excuse to let the regulars keep playing, but we shall see.

JoSorMo

It is probably not wise to “exhume” the ghost of QuGorMo, but the trio of Joba, Soriano and Rivera really could be the difference for this Yankees team. We saw it in 1996 when Rivera took the 7th and 8th by himself before handing it over to Wetteland and we saw it for most of 2004 before Joe Torre destroyed Paul Quantrill and Tom Gordon’s arms in the first half of the year.

That’s one thing that Joe Girardi won’t do. Joe does not abuse his relievers and it means we have some nights ahead of us when JoSorMo will be unavailable. But, four games in, it’s nice to dream about seeing them deployed in a playoff game.

That Wasn’t Good

I’m not sure what we witnessed this past weekend, real baseball or Red Sox pitchers throwing batting practice.

Consider that the Red Sox gave up 11 home runs in 3 games. Jon Lester allowed 3 Opening Day despite never before allowing 3 home runs in a game. Clay Buchholz allowed 9 home runs in all of 2010, yet he gave up 4 on Sunday. And John Lackey? Well, he was just terrible and it will take him to about July to get his ERA to a respectable level. At least he leads the Red Sox in strikeouts…with 3 (tied with Papelbon and Buchholz).

New pitching coach, Curt Young, is going to feel some pressure in short order if the rotation guys don’t figure things out quickly.

It’s interesting, while one is watching baseball played this poorly, one can’t help but get consumed with the thought of a failed season, but alas, it is but 3 games. Oh, and the Red Sox play Cleveland this week.

Silver lining notes:

David Ortiz is off to his best start in a while and for now, anyway, he won’t have to hear the early season whispers that he is done.

Adrian Gonzalez looked good. I’m interested in seeing some of that power, but for now, a high OBP and production works.

A Great Day At The Park

Yes, the weather was dreadful, but the baseball was good enough to overcome that. As a Yankees’ fan, you had to enjoy what you saw on Opening Day.

Start with Mark Teixeira bombing that home run. Now, as one of my friends at the game said, it’s not April yet, but you have to be happy to see him start strong.

And Curtis Granderson should probably have oblique problems more often. Three great catches and the home run off a lefty make a nice start to his season.

The thing I liked the most was the bullpen. That’s why I wanted Soriano and that formula of Joba-Soriano-Rivera will probably become a very popular mix as the season goes along. If the three of them can perform up to their abilities, the Yankees will be very hard to beat after the sixth inning.

One odd play was Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltraine Martin Jr’s (I kid you not) steal of third. There was one out, but there was also a lefty at the plate. I’m assuming either he has a green light or he thought he saw a hit and run sign that Jeter and Teixeira obviously didn’t. And why would the Yankees give a green light to a guy who lost the end of last year to a hip problem and the start of camp to a surgically repaired knee?

Here We Go

Opening Day is here for Red Sox fans. This afternoon we’ll see Jon Lester face CJ Wilson of the Texas Rangers in Arlington TX.

Line-Up:

Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Crawford LF
Youkilis 3B
Gonzalez 1B
Ortiz DH
Cameron RF
Saltalamacchia C
Scutaro SS

Of note, you’ll see Mike Cameron penciled in as the RF with JD Drew sitting and resting his soon to be sore hamstrings.

There is much hype about this line-up and mostly because of the acquisitions of Gonzalez and Crawford, but they are replacing 2 pretty good offensive pieces from 2010 in Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez. The real reason this line-up will be better than last year is because you have Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury health again. Each missed signficant time last year and forced Terry Francona to use the likes of Daniel Nava, Ryan Kalish and Darnell McDonald more than he’d otherwise consider.

Too bad this game is at 4pm ET, as many of us will be unable to watch it live, but that’s why we have TIVO.