July 7, 2005

G83: Red Sox 7, Rangers 4

Keith Foulke will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee today in Boston. He will be out four to six weeks. Curt Schilling is scheduled to pitch one inning of relief for Pawtucket tonight (Jon Papelbon makes his first AAA start). Schilling will likely rejoin the team after the All-Star break -- when the Red Sox host the Yankees for four games.

Theo Epstein:
We think this is the best thing for Schill. He really hasn't been consistent with his velocity and he has not been able to be consistent with high-caliber stuff over the course of a game.
Terry Francona:
Timlin and Schill are going to, more often than not, pitch at the end of games. Schill's not going to go every day. This is going to be a little bit unique. ... This is not permanent. Whether it's two weeks, two months, it's not two years. We don't know what's going to happen. Two weeks ago we weren't having this conversation. We're trying to do the best we can. I don't think we have leeway to not win.
The few Red Sox players who spoke on the record voiced their displeasure at the move. Johnny Damon got the most ink:
I don't think he's ready to be our closer. I think Bronson or Timlin are the choice as the closer. ... The whole team wants Timlin, and if not Timlin, Arroyo. ... [Schilling's] never done it. He throws 60 pitches to get loose for a game. ... Schilling's a little too old and it takes too long to get loose to be in that closer role. ... They're panicking. We're [four] games up and it feels like we're 10 down.
The guy's not a bullpen pitcher. I understand what they're saying, that they can put him in the bullpen and have him help out, but it's like they're saying you can just take a guy and put him out in the 'pen and have him do what we do. It's not just about getting guys out. It's about doing it day after day after day, in all sorts of situations.
Tim Wakefield:
The way our rotation is now, if it doesn't stay healthy, we need another starter. I'd rather have Curt coming in as a starter than having him close and then counting on our rotation to stay healthy for the rest of the year. We were fortunate last year that we all made every one of our starts, all five of us. That's very rare.
An unnamed player said the decision was a "slap in the face" to other relievers.

RHP Scott Cassidy was called up from Pawtucket to replace Foulke on the roster. Cassidy (3.81 ERA in 25 appearances for the PawSox) pitched for the Blue Jays in 2002 (5.73 ERA in 58 games). ... Damon extended his hitting streak to 22 games, the longest of any player in baseball this season. ... Over his last 18 games, David Ortiz is hitting .384 (28-for-73) with 21 RBI. He homered and drove in three runs last night.

Matt Clement pitched 8.2 innings last night, throwing a season-high 122 pitches. Alan Embree got the final out: "Warming up I felt great again. It was like, 'OK, well here's your chance to make up for some of the crap you did earlier.' You can print that."

In Baltimore:
Thursday: David Wells / Daniel Cabrera, 7:00
Friday: Bronson Arroyo / Sidney Ponson, 7:35
Saturday: Wade Miller / Bruce Chen, 1:00
Sunday: Tim Wakefield / Rodrigo Lopez, 1:30


Anonymous said...

Did you watch the game on NESN? Does anyone feel Manny was really upset at Sveum and/or Ortiz for not scoring on his double? I only ask because Manny seemed to be gesturing (shaking head, waving arms in circle) well after the play had ended. BTW, great column, excellent perspective.

Doug S.

Jason Adams said...

I watched the game and wondered myself if Manny was genuinely perturbed that Sveum held up Papi. Of course, we all remember what happened to the big fella last year when Dale needlessly waved him home.

The irony was how Manny got caught napping when that bloop fell in and he was heading back to second.

I find the "slap in the face" comment funny too considering that our bullpen is the worst in all of baseball. None of those guys in the pen--including Mike "Low ERA but can't keep inherited runners from scoring" Timlin--have any right to bitch about this move. I mean, he's Curt Schilling fer cryin' out loud. Dude pitched with his ankle bleeding all over the place. He can't be any worse than anyone else who's pitched out of the pen this year. And he's already on the payroll so give him a chance to see how he does.

It makes me wonder if a lot of the players just plain don't like Schilling. Ahhh, to be a fly on the wall in the Sox clubhouse...

--The blogger formerly known as "The Sheriff"

redsock said...

The FSN guys were laughing about Manny's handwaving at Tiz and Sveum, showing Ortiz laughing back at Manny.

After the FC, they mentioned it again, but in humorous way -- Manny's still thinking about that RBI!

I find it very hard to believe Manny would actually be pissed in that spot. It seems out of character.

When has Manny been pissed on the field, other than at himself for something? Very rarely.

Devine said...

What does Schilling say? That's what I want to know.

I do wonder how Schilling will have to change his warmup and other aspects of his routine, but I also remember Theo making big, not-necessarily-popular moves in July that won a World Series. So.

Still, those moves didn't seem to upset the team itself.

I guess what I'd like to see right now is perhaps a situation where Timlin and Schilling are in for the 8th and 9th (when possible), but not necessarily in that order...or any set order, for the moment. Let them feel out their new roles before setting their place in stone.

At first, I thought Manny was only half-serious with his Sveum-mocking, but I grew less sure upon his being called out and his final conversation with Sveum before heading to the dugout. Don't know what to think now.

MrFenstein said...

Ahh..the Boston drama. It's been lacking lately. Nice to see it's back.

I don't see how that's a slap in the face. And actaully if that's how the reliever's take then good, because that's exactly what they need. But having Curt Schilling, the top tier of pitchers come in to close is not a slap in the face. It would be a slap in the face if you took David McCarty and put him in the closer spot but not Schilling.

My vote is Timlin for closer. I thought Schilling was just going to do some middle relief stuff, but closing..no.