NOT So Home On The Range...Texas 9 Boston 4
It was 4-0 Rangers after 2 innings, 9-0 (!!) Rangers after 4 frames. There...that tells the whole story of the Thursday night game in Arlington, Texas, or should I say the OK Corral. The final score was Texas 9 Boston 4 and coupled with the Rangers victory over the pinstripers, the wild card lead for the Sox is down to 1 1/2 games. Boston pitching coach John Farrell had a dark assesment of Junichi, who was battered but escaped in his last start because of a few (many) fortunate circumstances. Last night, NOTHING was fortunate. Heeere's Johnny (sorry, Ed)...
“He became a one-pitch pitcher,’’ pitching coach John Farrell said.
Ouch. Red Sox manager Terry Francona's words were just as bleak...
"It was a rough night, right from the beginning,’’ Francona said. “As bleak as the game was looking, it looked worse from where we were. He obviously wasn’t commanding any of his secondary stuff,” said Francona of Tazawa, who has allowed 32 hits in his 20 innings. “When you’re throwing one pitch, you better be pretty fine with it. It was a tough night, right from the beginning, and we didn’t have a lot of protection for him, so we left him out there for a little while.
32 hits in 20 innings won't get anyone anywhere fast. Boston obviously brought him up too quickly because they needed a healthy starter. It hasn't worked out but a couple of years in the minor leagues and a couple more pitches in his repetoire will do wonders. Right now, the Boston Red Sox are in a race to play in the postseason. Every game, every inning, counts bigtime. After all, it's almost September. The bullpen is fine but the starting rotation lacks a valid fifth starter. Let's see, Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, a healthy Wakefield...so far, so good. But that's where the good ends. The alternative to Tazawa? I don't know his name. Theo and company do, though. It's not Nick Green, who pitched the eighth and the ninth innings last night and allowed zero hits but walked 3. He saved the bullpen from depletion. Great job, Nick of all trades.
Now it's on to the great white North (America) for three games with the Blue Jays. Here are the pitching matchups for a series the Sox MUST win, if not sweep...
8/28/2009 Tor 7:10 PM ET NESN Beckett (14-5) vs. Richmond (6-7)
8/29/2009 Tor 7:10 PM ET NESN Buchholz (2-3) vs. Romero (11-5)
8/30/2009 Tor 1:35 PM ET NESN Lester (10-7) vs. Halladay (13-7)
Anytime the Sox have to go against Halladay, the odds will be against them, but I see a two of three win series...I hope. What will be will be...we all know that. Enjoy your Friday. You can click on this post's title for more Sox coverage, leave a comment and as always, BE WELL. I mean it. Thanks.