Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Should we worry?

There is no reason why the Red Sox should've lost tonight's game. At one point they were up 8-3 and it is absolutely inexcusable for them to lose the game 11-8. Matt Clement must have an evil twin brother. That's the only thing I can think of. The real Clement goes out and pitches 8 scoreless innings one week and the next, his twin takes the mound and gets shelled for 7 runs. Thanks to Manny Ramirez the game still should've been a win despite Clement's start but then Francona decided to go with Keith Foulke in the 8th. For some reason he went to the guy that has been struggling all year and went with him early. Foulke then proceeded to have his worst game so far this year letting up 4 runs thanks to two two run homers by Javy Lopez and Miguel Tejada. The loss falls squarly on the shoulders of Clement and Foulke tonight as the offense did their part.

It's obviously too early to worry about the season in general. This is a playoff team and they're in second place. A bad week is nothing to worry about when it comes to the team. But there are several components of the team that are a little bit worrisome so far....

Foulke. I couldn't tell you what's wrong with Keith Foulke this year. All I can tell you is that there is definately something wrong. He's walking guys, not striking enough out, and letting up the longball. He has a 7.20 ERA this year to go with his 1-3 record in 10 games. Tonight was his first official blown save, but he just hasn't had it all season long. He's had only 2 perfect innings in the 10 innings he's pitched so far. His performance so far is reminding me of how he performed in spring training last year, only this time it's counting. I'm not entirely worried yet. Ok, that's a lie. I'm trying to not be entirely worried about him yet. He should break out of this. He's better than this.

David Wells. The big guy has struggled in a few games this year and hasn't looked all that impressive. Well, we don't have to worry about which Wells will show up for his next start because Wells limped his way to the DL with a sprained foot. It really was only a matter of time before he collapsed under his weight. So now we can delay our worries about how Wells will pitch and focus our worries on the fact that John Halama has made his way into the rotation. Lenny Dinardo, coming off a solid 5 inning start in Pawtucket, has been called up to fill the roster.

Mark Bellhorn. I was a big fan of the guy last year and even believed that he would improve this year, but so far that has not happened. In the spring there were rumors that he was trying to cut down a little bit on his k's, but his k-rate has actually increased so far this year. He's striking out in 40% of his at bats this year compared to the 34% mark from last year. He's also walking less this year and still doesn't have a home run. He's swinging at bad pitches, something you didn't see at all last year and he's just plain being unproductive. A guy who strikes out as much as him is obviously going to go through cold streaks, but he really needs to turn it on soon. He wasn't the most popular guy in Red Sox Nation before and this isn't helping him. I still think he can turn his season around and be one of the most productive second basemen in the game, just like he was last year, but he needs to turn things around really quick.

Kevin Youkilis. It would've been really nice to have Youk on the bench when Bill Mueller went down with the flu. But, of course, the Sox thought that Dave McCarty is somehow more valuable and sent Youk to Pawtucket. The worst part about the whole thing is that Youk made management look smart by struggling pretty bad once he started to play every day. He's batting a whopping .182 so far in 33 at bats. I want to see this guy playing every day at the major league level, but first I want to see him prove that he can handle it.

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