Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Return Of John Smoltz Nears

We're two days away from the pitching debut of John Smoltz in a Boston Red Sox uniform and from all I hear, and that's SO much, the Sox made a hell of a deal in obtaining his services. They let his rehab come along slowly but surely and if Smoltzie can be just 70% of himself, he'll win a lot of games for his new team, that team we love. His former Atlanta catcher Brian McCann knows him on the field better than anyone. He said this a couple of days ago. My thanks go out to the Boston Globe for these quotes...

“He’s one of the smartest pitchers I’ve ever been around, first off,’’ McCann said. “He wills himself to be the best, every single day. Everything he does just is at a high level, no matter if it’s playing ping-pong. He’s just so competitive. He’s usually the best at what he does. It’s very rare. He’s the best athlete I’ve ever been around. He can do it all. I could sit here and throw a million adjectives. He’s a great, great pitcher, and a great person. Never doubt him,’’ McCann said. “If there’s a game I want someone to win, I don’t care if it’s John Smoltz throwing lefthanded, I want John Smoltz on the mound. Boston got a great pitcher, a guy who when the postseason comes, you can rely on him to go out there and give you a great performance. I think they got a great pitcher in Smoltzy.’’

Atlanta manager Bobby Cox had these glowing words for his former pitcher...

“He can invent pitches and arm angles when he had to, when his arm was sore and all that,’’ Cox said. “He would drop down, throw side arm, throw knuckleballs, and still win. The genius comes in, figuring things out. That’s what it’s all about, adjusting as hitters, adjusting as pitchers, and figure out a way to get people out. I’m not just making this up. It’s all true. No. 1, he’s got talent,’’ Cox said. “No. 2, he’s smart as heck. No. 3, he’s a great competitor. Add them all up, you’ve got Josh Beckett and John Smoltz.’’

And the man himself, John Smoltz, said this to the Atlanta reporters assembled before him...

"I'm going to pitch again," Smoltz told Atlanta reporters when they came into the Red Sox clubhouse this past weekend. "I told you guys I would pitch again. I believe I can do whatever I put my mind to. I love to pitch and compete, and I would come back throwing sidearm, throwing a knuckleball, whatever it would take to continue."

So we await Thursday night's game. The combination of Josh Beckett, John Smoltz and Jon Lester, not to mention Timmy Wakefield and Brad Penny, will make the Boston Red Sox an almost impossible team to beat in the post season, and that's just the way we like it. GO SOX, until the end of October. YES!!

Here are the pitching matchups for the three game set with the Nationals, baseball's worst team, record-wise...

Brad Penny (6-2, 4.94) vs. John Lannan (4-5, 3.38) tonight
Jon Lester (5-6, 4.69) vs. Craig Stammen (1-2, 4.76) Wednesday
** John Smoltz (0-0) vs. Jordan Zimmerman** Thursday (2-3, 5.03)

That's a wrap for this still cloudy early morning Tuesday. Nadia has a job interview at 10am EDT this morning and I wish her all the luck in the world. My credit card and bank balance wish her luck, too. Click on this post's title for more Sox news and as always, BE WELL. I'll be seeing you...soon.



At 6/23/2009 11:43 AM, Blogger Bosox Fan in Wichita said...

I know Pete, I feel the excitement of Smoltz getting his first start for us against the Nats. I hope Daisuke gets "well" soon so he and Clay will be available this autumn, too.

Good luck, Nadia!

At 6/23/2009 1:11 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

Nadia says thank you, BFW. And...she got the job!! I'm SO happy for her, and me! You're the best.

Now tonight, go Brad! GO SOX.


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