Pitchfx confirms the obvious: by the sixth inning, Smoltz had lost it. Velocity fell below 90 consistently.Jason Varitek, on Smoltz:
He's still playing catch-up quite a bit, not only with his health, but with the game. ... Everybody's in their stride in the middle of the season and he's not. ... He's still continuing to get his baseball feel and his baseball strength.Tek implies that Smoltz is still in something of a "spring training" mode. If so, then why is he getting big league starts? (I suppose the implosion of Daisuke Matsuzaka has something to do with that.)
But Smoltz has made 11 starts this year -- six in the minors and five with the Red Sox. He has pitched 53 innings, far more than the 27.2 innings that Josh Beckett led Sox pitchers with in camp this year; in fact, Clay Buchholz was the only other pitcher with more than 20 IP. So even with the caveat of recovering from surgery, Smoltz should be far beyond the "spring training" stage.
The two-out runs are getting on my nerves. ... My whole season has been like that. ... I've had times I threw horrible and put up zeroes. I believe I was throwing well. I can't explain some of the hits they got.Smoltz had not allowed three home runs in one game since June 8, 1997 -- and had last given up three dongs in one inning on June 19, 1994.