Results tagged ‘ Scott Kazmir ’
Think about this. The highest paid player on your team doesn’t play versus left-handed pitchers. Could you imagine Albert Pujols sitting or
Manny Ramirez sitting (well, yes I can imagine him sitting, that’s not a good example) or A-Rod sitting? Or, how about Ryan Howard, Carl Crawford, or Ichiro Suzuki? However, when you are this guy:
You don’t start versus left-handed pitchers anymore. Against the first two LHP opposing starters the Red Sox have faced, Scott Kazmir and Joe Saunders, manager Terry Francona has opted to start Rocco Baldelli instead of J.D. Drew. The 14 Million Dollar question is why?
I can see once in a while, to get Rocco some at bats, that he’d replace Drew, Ellsbury, or even Ortiz against some LHP. But 2 LHPs in a row Drew sits for Baldelli?
J.D. Drew is a career .260 hitter versus LHP. Last year, he hit .284 versus lefties but in 2007 he hit .224 against southpaws. In his career versus Kazmir, he was 1-7 with a triple a walk and 3 strikeouts. I can see sitting him versus Kazmir, who is notoriously tough (career .212 BA against vs LH batters) on lefties. In his career versus Saunders, he is 1-5 with a double and a walk. Not a large sample against either pitcher, but Saunders is not tougher on lefties like Kazmir is.
If you compare Drew to Ortiz, Big Papi is a career .268 hitter versus LHP. Last year, though, he hit a paltry .221 against lefties, obviously his injured wrist played a factor in this. In 2007, Ortiz hit .308 versus LHP. In the years 2003 through 2006, Ortiz hit .216, .250, .302, and .278 against LHP.
Now, I’m not saying that Ortiz should sit instead of Drew against lefties, not at all. I’m just using Ortiz as a comparison, as their numbers versus lefties aren’t far apart. However, I would have to think that it is very rare that a team’s highest paid player becomes a platoon player. In Drew’s defense, I do not think he should be sitting versus lefties, however, if his at bat versus Brian Fuentes to end Sunday’s game is any indication, maybe Francona knows what he is doing.
It was nice to see the Red Sox and Angels come together in fellowship on this Easter Day:
Should make for an interesting series when the Sox return back to Anaheim in May. Hopefully, they won’t let as many opportunities to score slip away then, like they did this week. And, hopefully they’ll be able to slow down the Angels on the basepaths. It was nice to see Varitek throw out Figgins trying to steal second, though.
Now it is onto Oakland, before returning back to Fenway for the RED HOT Orioles. I think the Sox will take 2 of 3 from Oakland in this series, but I am not looking forward to those 10 PM start times. Oh well.
It’s only one game in the scheme of it all. However, it is always great to get out of the gate with a win. The best part of the day, was that Josh Beckett was DOMINANT! Will be nice to have the real Josh Beckett this season, provide he remains healthy. Nice looking line:
7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 Ks. All on only 93 pitches thrown.
Dustin Pedroia picked up right where he left off. A home run in his first AB. Kevin Youkilis with 2 hits. Everybody seeming to chip in today. Jason Varitek with a HR. Mike Lowell and RBI double. Jason Bay an RBI. JD Drew with an RBI as well and he didn’t leave the game with an injury which is always a plus.
The only real blemish on the day was Hideki Okijima’s performance. Remember two years ago, what happened to Okijima on Opening Day in KC. If the same patterns follows, we’ll be happy with him come August.
As for me, I was at the ballgame. It is always great to be at the park, especially on Opening Day. Even when it is a cold day. I didn’t see any of the pre-game festivities, as I was underneath the RF grandstands, selling programs. However, I did get to see a lot of the game, since the product I was selling during the game wasn’t a hot item to sell today.
Game two tomorrow night, should be another good one. Jon Lester against Scott Kazmir, two of the top lefties in MLB.
Let’s build a streak!
I get my son into bed and back downstairs ready to watch the game at about 8:40 or 8:45. I turn on the TV, flip over to TBS and it is the top of the 2nd and the Rays already have a 2-0 lead. Christ! I sit down at the PC and head to ESPN.com to see how it happened. Iawmura hit followed by another Upton HR. Damn!
The Sox get a couple on against Kazmir, but can’t deliver. Kazmir seems to be pitching okay. Certainly not the Kazmir of old, but definitely not the Kazmir of recent either. However, it’s just a matter of time before the Sox get to him…right?
Top of the 3rd, and Upton gets another hit. Can we get this guy out yet? Pena HR, next. Longoria HR next. Gawd! Well, when 1 team is hitting on all cylinders and out pitching the opponent, what are you going to do? You just have to give credit to the Rays. It’s not going to be the year this year.
I check with the wife, see if she wants to watch a show. We’re both tired (my wife works nights, and worked Wed night, so she’s way more tired than me. But you know how it is with kids, your ALWAYS tired.), but I pull up the DVR and see what we have waiting to watch. How about Survivor? Great! We watch the Fang tribe (which could be like the Rays of old, or the Pirates, always losing) lose both challenges and GC get voted out.
The wife’s ready for bed, so she curls up on the couch with a blanket and is off to dreamland as I turn the game back on. It is the Top of the 7th, and Delcarmen just walked the 2nd of two batters, so the Rays have 1st & 2nd with nobody out and Upton (him again?) coming up. Francona, in a desperation moves, brings in Papelbon. However, after a double steal, runs are at 2nd and 3rd. Papelbon works back to a full count on Upton, but gives up a wall ball double that extends the lead to 7-0. That just about sealed up the MVP for Upton.
I get back on the PC, as I’m thinking about going to bed, and type up a little blog to congratulate the Rays, as I’ll probably type up more in the morning.
However, even though I am tired, it is a bit early for me to go to bed. I am a night owl. I like to stay up late. Not sure why, but I’ve always been that way. Sometimes I regret it in the morning, but most times I’m fine.
So, I start surfing the net, checking out some other blogs. I went to a message board that I frequent. I played a few games, all as the game was still on.
Maddon decides not to bring Kamir out for the 7th, and goes with the flame thrower Grant Balfour. Lowrie crushes a ball to RF, that just misses a HR. However, that gets you to take notice. Then when Varitek and Kotsay fly out, oh well. However, Crisp lines a single, but too hard for Lowrie to score. Pedroia then singles, and the Sox are on the board. At least they won’t be shut out.
Now, up comes Papi. He crushes one deep into the night.
Papelbon comes out and gets the Rays 1-2-3 in the 8th. Sweet!
Then, a 4 pitch lead-off walk to Bay, and you can just see how tightly Wheeler is squeezing that ball. Drew crushes a HR to right, and WOW! But, your still thinking how HUGE those 2 runs the Rays got in the top of 7th are. Walks will kill you. But, the Sox are now down a run. If you’re going to lose, if you’re going to get eliminated, this is the way to go out. Not some pathetic 7-0 loss. Wheeler gets Lowrie and Casey, and is almost out of the inning. But here is where some “weird” things happen:
- Kotsay’s line drive goes off the glove of B.J. Upton in CF )who has been tracking down EVERYTHING) for a double.
- Gabe Gross’ throw to home goes straight into the ground, allowing Kotsay to score on Crisp’s single to tie the game.
- Carlos Pena (who had ground into only 2 DPs all season) grouned into an inning ending DP with the leading run on 2nd.
- Evan Longoria, one of the best fielding 3B in the league, makes an error. That runner ends up scoring the winning run on J.D. Drew’s game winning hit.
There I am, dancing around the living room while my wife is fast asleep on the couch. Haha. But, who would have thought? Seriously!! Down 7-0 in the 7th?
We go back to Tampa. There is still a lot of work to be done, but ANYTHING can happen, as we just witnessed. There are lots of questions though:
Can Beckett be Beckett?
Is the offense back?
Should Francona swap Lester to game 6 (on normal rest) and Beckett for game 7 (on extra rest)?
Saturday can’t get here fast enough for me.