April 15, 2006

G11: Mariners 3, Red Sox 0

Mariners - 003 000 000 - 3  9  0
Red Sox - 000 000 000 - 0 5 0
So ... anyone know how the other split squad did today?

Tito puts out the JV lineup, holds his pinch-hitters until after they can help, and wastes what turns out to be a pretty decent complete game from Tim Wakefield.

Why do Mark Loretta and Mike Lowell both need the day off? And why give them some rest (after only 10 games) on the same afternoon Jason Varitek has the day off? It makes no sense. Plus Francona moves Kevin Youkilis out of the leadoff spot and writes in Adam Stern and Alex Cora (?!) at the top of the lineup.

In the bottom of the 8th, down by three and with two men on, Francona lets Stern (who was over-matched and looked pathetic all day long) and Cora make feeble outs to end a potential rally. Tito did send up Loretta and Varitek in the 9th, but then he allowed Alex Gonzalez to make the final out on a dismal afternoon.

I had been thinking last night how nice Francona's moves had been this year, both in the lineup and the bullpen. I hadn't had any complaints at all. Well, that has changed. I don't expect his post-game comments to shed much light on the matter, but it sure seems like Francona threw up the white flag on this one.

Previews: Seattle / Boston.

Saturday's lineup:
Stern    CF
Cora 2B
Ortiz DH
Ramirez LF
Youkilis 3B
Snow 1B
Pena RF
Bard C
Gonzalez SS


Peter N said...

Wake wasted effort.

suzy lux said...

such a shame. good performance, plus complete game from wake and no offense to speak of.

stern + cora = instant 2 outs

wth were they doing in the 1,2 spots?

and that bases loaded, no out sitch in the 2nd without scoring a run was embarrassing. i wonder how many times that has happened to the red sox in the last 3 years.

Yaz-Tex said...

JV, indeed. Any truth to the rumor that Mike Lowell went 3-4 across town against Northeastern? I could think of no other reason than why Tito kept him (and Loretta) out of the mix until the game was all but gone.

Stern looked like he was facing the varsity for the first time, spinning out of the box like a misguided pinwheel as he waved at one Piniero yacker after another. Remy (as usual) hit the nail on the head - once they find your weakness, they'll keep going back again and again. Based on today's body of work, Sterno may not see the heater the rest of the year.

Lost amid the detritus of opportunities squandered in the 2nd was a gutty AB by Josh (The) Bard, who battled back from an 0-2 hole to draw a walk some 10 pitches later. Many actually stood and registered their approval, though his adventures with Wake's floater the following inning (and the damage that ensued) doubtless rendered their exhortations to tones that were more Mirabellian than Shakespearean....

Jack Marshall said...

Oddly, the Sox still can't seem to win when they get NO runs...

Your comment was dead-on, Redsock. With injuries to Nixon and Crisp and Bard in for Veritek,plus Manny in a funk, the line-up was a pointless white flag. If he wants to get Cora in the line-up, put him at short. Terrible batting order too..reminiscent of Jimy Williams' weird love affair with Midre Cummings that had him batting clean-up.
Also: why would you ever NOT pinch hit for Gonzalez in the 9th?

The Couch Potato said...

Five Sox hitters were 0-fers today. That's not counting the pinch-hitters. Disgusting. I'm still not worried about Manny because I believe he will get hot sooner rather than later. I read in the Globe today that Tito wanted to rotate guys in & out due to the weird times of the games this weekend. Wha...?! Typical Wake to battle through and get a complete game & then not get the run support.

s1c said...

Am not for sure that cora and stern are 2 instant outs, but why have them batting 1 - 2 in the order, especially after Youk has been solid in the lead off spot. Its a long season and I know he wants to get cora into one or two games every week playing either 2nd or short. Just not for sure why this line up today. I still say Pena is going to kill us in the outfield. I just don't think he has the tools yet to be a quality outfielder. I want more of MOHR.

Yaz-Tex said...

s1c raises a question to which I'd be interested in some learned perspective - what was the party line/rationale used by the front office in dealing Arroyo for Pena? Defensive depth, a bat off the bench, or both? With Bluto now on the DL and decisions to be made on a #5 starter, can someone please tell me that this was a deal that was expected to stand on its own two feet?

While it's true that Pena has thus far logged more time than expected in RF due to Trot's balky groin, we're going to be in serious trouble if this guy ever becomes a defensive cog in any situation. I doubt Theo envisioned him as the second coming of Dewey (or even Truman) in right, but yesterday's 3rd inning gaffe was almost as bad as his layup of Cattalanano's fly ball into the bullpen during the home opener.

As for his prowess at the dish, the upside is there as evidenced by the rocket he hit to the triangle in the 2nd, with a bad-luck bounce depriving him of the RBI and a likely 3B if Reed allows that one to rattle around a bit. With extended tutelage in the cage with Papa Jack honing his stroke, you can see the raw potential as a DH.

However, for those who may have spent their last three years back-packing through Tibet, there's no room for WMP at DH in BOS so as long as we have 34. That begs the question - is the guy off to a bad start with the leather or were his defensive limitations known?

Speaking of Papa Jack, the only highlight I can recall of yesterday's game was seeing him in the dugout blissfully unaware and resplendent in his bubble gum-topped cap, having unknowingly been punk'd by Tek. Remy and Orsillo had some fun with that one, almost as good as their commentary last season when a streaker was perp walked up the aisle in Comerica Park in front of an octegenarian couple.

Peter N said...

Calling Wily Mo Bluto is an insult to John Belushi, and the cartoon charactor, too. Yukking it on a Sunday, a Sunday that the offense monster might awaken at Fenway.

Peter N said...

And of course I meant Boomer. But it makes sense both ways!

Yaz-Tex said...

Interesting statistical musings on Wily Mo Pena (courtesy of baseball-reference.com), who at the ripe old age of 23:

- Has more AB (830)than Harmon Killebrew (800) did at 23, while hitting 12 points higher (.248 vs. 236) than Killebrew with only two fewer HR (51 vs. 53). These numbers are more intriguing when you consider Pena has done it with two fewer years of service in the Majors (4 vs. 6) than the Killer.

- Has a career average 10 points better than Roger Maris (.248 vs. .238) though Maris had been in the bigs only 2 years.

Now if only he could get some tutelage in RF before his initials are recast as he Who Misplays Pelota.

Jack Marshall said...

If Wells goes down for the count, either Papelbon or Lester takes over, and the rotation will be fine.
This was obviously part of the Arroyo trade decision, which remains a no-brainer...the Sox would have been fools not to take it. Pena's power is pretty amazing; he didn't even hit that double well, and it almost went out.

As Redsock will be the first to point out, Trot pulls rocks in right too. The homer was a fluke, and the liner was a classic shot hit right at an outfielder...always a tough play (I know from experience.) Really, it's time to stop pining over a 30 year old fifth starter whose k/bb ratio went to hell last year and whose ERA was over 4.5. If the championship depended on a guy with those credentials, the team was in deep trouble.