Beckett belted

Raise your hands, please, everyone who saw this coming. I suppose Josh Beckett could only play with fire so many times in the first inning before he got burnt, badly.

It is especially painful to see someone give up a grand slam after walking two batters in a row. As Beckett is quickly learning, there is simply NO margin for error in the American League. The Indians are one of the best hitting teams in the league, right up there with those Bombers of Bronx. If the Tribe can get any consistent relief pitching this year, they are going to be seriously reckoned with.

One thing that has been frustrating about watching the 2006 Red Sox is that once they fall behind early in the game, you don’t sense that the offense has enough amunition to bring them back. This is far different than the teams of ’03-’05. I’m not sure there’s a whole lot they can do about this until Coco gets back.

It is strange how Beckett was so dominant those first three starts, and into the eighth inning of his fourth start. And then came that horrid eighth inning in Toronto, and it seemed to carry over into tonight.

This guy is fiercely competitive. I’m thinking he finds a way to get it turned around for the big start Tuesday night at Fenway against the Yankees.

For those of you who haven’t done so yet, please scroll down in the blog and give me a post to the question of the week. I’ve had a lot of fun reading through those.




What may stink even more than Beckett giving up homers after walking two guys is the fact that most of these runs were scored with 2 outs.

I credit Ben Broussard though. Two homeruns and 7 RBI in one game is amazing.

I am really aching for Coco.

And I’m missing Billy Mueller. The best part about him was he went and did his job quietly so that you barely even realized he was there, but the impact he made at the bottom of the lineup was incredible. It is only now that I realize how weak the bottom of the Sox lineup is.

I really hope they can pull off a win tomorrow for my birthday.

Happy Birthday Arielle!

Yeah, there’s something to say for your lineup when you’ve got a former batting champion in the 7th or 8th spot.

This is an ugly game. The consolation prize it that Toronto is losing also.

I’m honestly concerned about the offense on this team. We need our pitching to hold up.

I think the offense will come around. We should see this as a blessing. For the past few years its been the bullpen and rotation that has worried us.
Papi and Manny have yet to both get hot at the same time. Also, once Coco is back in the lineup it will dramatically change too. Youk will be able to move back down to the back end, a huge upgrade for the bottom. There’s still a lot of baseball left and this is a new team…once they start to come together the offense will be there.









Assuming Loretta and Tek improve (and they almost certainly will), that really leaves only one “hole”. We actually got production out of the centerfield position tonight (2 for 4 with a double), and that’s encouraging. Hopefully they stick with the Pena in centerfield idea for awhile, both to get him ABs and for the sake of the offense.

What about flipping Youk and Loretta in the lineup (when Crisp is back, that is) if Youk can keep up his production?

God, for a fifth starter. I was for the Pena trade (I think I’ve said before), but it was predicated on Wells, you know, existing on a major league level.

Picking up on Devinemandate’s comment, this idea of dropping Youk to the number 2 spot when Coco Crisp returns came up in a conversation I had last night. Out of Loretta and Youkilis, I think Loretta is the more ideal number 2 guy and Youkilis can still stay productive batting 7th or 8th. I agree with you, Ian, in the sense that when this Sox team falls behind by 5 runs I have little to no confidence that we can bang out a 4 run inning to get back in a game. I will say that I’m a big fan of what I saw last night with Ortiz-Manny-Nixon-Tek-Lowell-Pena batting 3-thru-8, despite what it produced last night.

Im hoping for a strong series at the Trop this weekend. Good Luck Clement, may all line drives stay clear of the mound and may Jonny Gomes bat be a wet noodle (at least for the next 3 games…then he can continue to carry my fantasy club).

I am seeing a lot of blogs that indicate Coco Crisp may be the next Messiah! Hopefully he is going to be the player that the Red Sox traded for. In the meantime, a team has to be able to play over injuries. The Sox shouldn’t have to be relying on one player coming back from an injury to pull the team together. The rest of the boys have to get their act together starting this weekend.

Alex Cora can pitch? I did not know that…

ohintheok, Sox are still a game ahead of the Yankees and in first place, without Coco…I think they’re doing pretty well.

People freak out because of a blowout game. 15-3 or 2-1…a loss is a loss. S*ck it up and get over it and move on to the next game.

On the topic of offense:

There’s been much discussion about Loretta being affected by Coco’s absence. The general consensus is he’ll be (more than) fine when Crisp returns. Varitek too will hit. (And despite all his behind-the-dish antics, has anyone else noticed that Josh Bard is quietly putting together quality at-bats? I think by July we’ll all realize we have Mirabelli Part II on our hands.) Lowell also has gotten off to a great start, with 11 doubles; I think that good start was the most important component for him. His confidence is back, or seems to be. (Although has anyone else noticed his perpetual “Derek Lowe Face”?)

Dropping Youkilis to the 7 or 8 hole is crucial because, while he may end up getting stranded on base a number of times, he’ll break up any “easy inning” the pitcher might have by working the count, seeing lots of pitches, etc. And then we’re back to the top of the lineup again.

Anyways. Gonzalez’s offense is atrocious, and I simply don’t think that a team with a hole in their lineup that big can expect to compete in this deep of an American League. I think it will be interesting to see what Theo does about it; can he pick up some offense at short by the break? Julio Lugo is a name to remember: he hit .295 last year and provided decent defense as well. He’ll be a free agent next year; if the Rays come off their obscenely high demands I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the Red Sox.

Wily Mo needs to play center every day until Coco comes back. Harris/Mohr have been ghastly.

Our pitching will continue to be solid; it really can only get better, considering we have a bunch of proven guys like Tavarez and Seanez who have yet to find their groove but almost assuredly will. And if not, we have a number of kids at Pawtucket that can help. Anyways, this team’s built for the long haul, and I think we’ll see a little more success than we did in Cleveland.

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