PhilSox Blog: Sox Opening Day (3 of 4)

 


Sox Opening Day (3 of 4)

The Red Sox will take the field tonight in Toronto for the Jays home opener. Counting the Japan trip, then the A's first home game, this will be the Sox third opener. They of course have one more, the most important, opening day at Fenway this coming Tuesday.

Yesterday was an off day which we're hoping will take the last of the team's jet lag away. There nothing like an off day to get creative juices flowing for folks when there isn't actually a game to talk about. I heard on Mike & Mike this morning a clip of some baseball pundit extolling the reasons why Papelbon should be a starter. I cannot remember who this lad was (If anyone knows, please leave a comment!) but he was taking a page out of some Sabermetrics guide and talking about how your best pitcher should not be a reliever and your best reliever should not be a closer. The geek view of this topic is that you should put your "closer" in whenever the game is really on the line. For instance, if you have a 1 run lead in the 6th, and the opponents meat is coming to the plate, that should be the clue to put in your "closer". The only flaw with this theory that I can think of was that the Red Sox tried this once and it was a downright disaster. Meanwhile, the Yankers have two closers; Rivera for the ninth, Chamberlain for the eighth. I vote we keep Paps where he is.

There's been discussion about center field and the Crisp/Ellsbury situation. The truth of this matter is that decisions on who is in the line-up are not being made strictly on numbers and perceived benefit towards a win. Crisp got a start Wednesday and will probably get more, not because he is better than Ellsbury, but because the front office wants to "showcase" him so that a trade can be worked out. He went 2 for 5 that night and scored a run. I suppose that isn't too bad a show, but I can't help but wish that Jacoby was in. (Drew, who went 1 for 5, is not being showcased for anything, as far as I know.)

It appears that Josh Beckett will make his first start on Sunday in the third game of the Toronto series. Here's some logic that I can't help but question. Starting Tuesday (for that Fens opener) the Sox will be facing Detroit who will be, at best, playing .500, assuming they sweep the White Sox. Based on their plate performance while being swept by the Royals, those Tigers may not be able to get three in their first home stand, but anyone who thinks that those bats aren't going to wake up at some point is nuts. Should we be leaving Beckett out until that Tuesday? I mean, he didn't get the Japan start, now he won't get to pitch in Fenway until the 11th or 12th against the Yankees? I say you let him have the Fens opener, which still leaves him ready for game three of the Yankee series (Which is the only one I'll actually get to see since MLB.tv will be blacked out for me and Sunday's game is on ESPN. (Thank you YES network!) Who do we need Beckett more against, the Toronto line-up or those of Detroit and New York?

Finally, folks are expressing their relief to see some players waking up a bit. Papi had hit first hits, his first RBI, and his first jack of the season on Wednesday. Matsuzaka looked much better in his second start, as did the young Jon Lester. Even Tek is performing better at the plate, getting a RBI double (He was robbed of a homer, pure and simple) and a homer this week. We have survived the worst part of this Homeric 2008 Opening Odyssey with a record of 3 and 1, and that is a good thing because April is not getting any easier.

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1 Comments:

At April 4, 2008 at 7:29 PM, Blogger redsox.njdevils said...

I think we should leave Paps where he's at, too. Why move him around if he's awesome at what he does now?

I think Crisp is amazing at fielding, but his bat brings us down, so we should definitely put Jacoby in CF.

I was a little surprised (yet delighted) to see how Lester dominated the other day.

And Tek's homer was DEFINITELY a homer. No matter how many times I watch the replay, there's no way to say that it wasn't one, but at least we still won anyway!

 

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