Hotlanta

Yes, very hot in Atlanta today. I enjoy Turner Field. It’s a nice park, clean, easy to get around.

This series should be a good litmus test of whether the Red Sox are back on track or not? Kind of hard to tell, because from what I saw, the San Francisco Giants just aren’t a very good baseball team.

Clearly, the biggest thing to come out of the sweep over the Giants is this: Manny is getting hot. Manny is getting his powerball back. The ramifications of this are enormous. If Manny can go on one of those tears where he’s hitting eight homers in 10 games, pitchers can’t nibble quite as much around Big Papi. Ortiz himself has yet to go on a significant power tear this season.

So my pre-road trip prediction is this: Ortiz and Manny are both going to clear a few walls over the next nine games.

No DH for the next six games, so Tito will be mixing and matching. Look for Ortiz, Youkilis and Lowell to all start four out of these six games. Ortiz is out of the lineup tonight with the lefty going. Youk is hitting third and ‘Tek is hitting fifth.

Schill to the hill today: Do we get the one-hitter Schill of two starts ago or the guy who was hit pretty soundly by the Rockies five days ago? Also, Okajima is unavaiable today after pitching all three games against the Giants. Perhaps Timlin is going to have to get some big outs tonight.

More later,

Ian.

10 Comments

I’m sure it will be nice to be playing a home game on the road. The Braves fans are some of the worst in the whole league… and most Atlanta people are transplants from somewhere else anyway. We really need to stay hot and bury these guys.

And latelt the Braves have been struggling at home and Smoltz is not pitching Vs Sox. Sox have to take advantage.

Kumar hit the nail on the head. Smoltz won’t be around, so we have to capitalize on that.

Rayman, I dunno if Braves fans are the worst in the league…define “worst” in that aspect. :-)

We’re tied 1-1, but Coco hit a HR…that’s gotta be a good sign.

Schilling has been off and on this entire year. And he also gave up a hit to the PITCHER. OOOO boy, we need to have a rally.

Schilling’s gonna title his next blog “I stunk tonight.” Why do we always lose on ESPN games? O man, there’s another 1 on wednesday. I dont c a lot of luck for wednesday either. Schilling fastball was in the high 80s, dats it. He was horrible, as he was last time out. Schilling’s tired out, it looks like he’s done. Ridiculous. Now, We can offer schil 10 million and he’d probably take it.

I agree that everytime the Sox play on ESPN, they lose. I now associated Rick Sutcliffe’s voice with a Red Sox loss.

Schilling is way too hittable this year (109 H/94 IP) and it especially hurts when you intentionally walk the #8 batter to get to the pitcher, AND THEN give up an RBI single.

The silver lining of the night? Coco Crisp going 4-for-4 with 2 HR. I’m more excited about the fact that he had a 4-hit game because it’s not like anybody is expecting him to put up huge power numbers, but that .247 average is slowly climbing towards respectability and hopefully then everybody will get off of his back.

I have been a Crisp fan since the signing and have been most impressed with his ability to track fly balls. If he can hit .270 and play an above-average CF, I am more than happy.

For anybody who watched the game tonight (and the past couple of weeks), you have to admit that while Coco has made some tough outs, Lugo is just chopping grounders or popping out and looking ugly in the process.

Also nice to see Drew’s extra base hit total start to climb after a slow start, he hit a no-doubter tonight as well.

Oh well, Beckett tomorrow night and you have to expect what he’s going to give a strong outing as he has for every start (except his last) this year.

It’s time to cut ties with Timlin. When Donnelly is ready to return from the DL, if Timlin is not throwing the ball better, he – and not Pineiro or Delcarmen – should be cut loose. Delcarmen does not belong at Pawtucket, and Pineiro is a better option than Timlin, until Lester is ready and Tavarez joins the bullpen (which will give the pen a lift). I like Timlin, and he has had some good years in Boston, but that was then and this is now. The Sox can’t afford to carry a reliever who cannot get through an inning without giving up runs.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Thank you Jeff, I completely agree. And even though my rant on Timlin’s ineffectiveness may have been premature, tonight did nothing but cement my belief that Timlin should no longer be part of the Boston bullpen.

He allows an inherited runner to score in the 6th with 2 outs, and then gives up 2 more runs in the 7th. The beauty of our lineup is the ability to come back in the late innings, but it’s not as easy when everytime they put up a run, a reliever gives it right back.

I think that is one of the things that frustrates me most in baseball. Tonight, the score was 6-2 and I was not freaking out because it was only the 6th inning. But then it turns into a 9-2 game, Manny is taken out, and any chance of a comeback seems hopeless.

dj992 & Zachary: Good point about Schilling; guaranteed we’re gonna see a blog entry that says he ****** today. Regardless, I’ve been saying it for a while, I don’t expect him to be offered a contract that worth much if anything at all if he keeps this up.

And now that you mention it Zachary, Coco has been making tough outs lately and boy he looked good at the plate today, and I’m not counting those HRs.

As for Timlin, he hasn’t really thrown much beyond AAA rehab and he simply hasn’t been in many games at the big league level. The rest of our bullpen is quite good and even though Piniero is a work in progress, he’s young, which is key.

Another one of my predictions: Timlin and Schilling won’t be around next season and the oldest player we’ll possibly have is Wakefield.

Just my two cents :-)

As a transplanted bostonian, now living in the south, and as someone who lived in Atlanta for a while, I can say that it has been my opinion for many years that not only are braves fans the worst Atlanta is the worst sports town in the country. It is a wonderful city, and I recomend a visit to everyone. From the birthplace of the most popular product in the history of the world {Coca Cola} to the distinction of being one of only 3 U.S. cities to host the summer olympics, Atlanta is truly a jewel of the south. That being said, even the proudest Atlantan will agree that the city has never been able to truly embrace their professional sports teams. Especially when they were finally blessed with a winner. They were so confused that they had to steal their Tomahawk chop from Florida State University. There are many reasons for their apathy. Transientcy, for one. More people are transfered to and from Atlanta per capita than any other city. Performance is another. Let’s face it , with the exception of the Braves dominance of the N.L. east for 15 years, and the Dominique Wilkins led Hawks of the 80’s , their teams ******. But I think the main reason Atlanta is the worst pro sports town in the country is that Georgia , like the rest of the south is so deeply consumed with collegiate athletics. These allegiances are passed down from generation to generation. And I can say from personal experience that passion does exist in these people, and it is intoxicating. To all sports enthusiasts, I declare that you have not lived until you have attended a SEC football game. After you do , you will understand why all southeners are reluctant to embrace the business of professional sports. These events , much like their hometown creation COKE, are the real thing. GO RED SOX!

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