Category Listing
Monthly Archive
Baseball Reference
Red Sox Links

Recent Posts
Recent Comments
Essential Empy

Home » August 2006 Game CommentsAugust 2006 » Muted


Game 121: August 18, 2006
Yankees (72-48), 14
Red Sox (69-52), 11
W: Mike Myers (1-0)
H: Scott Proctor (17)
H: Craig Hansen (8)
BS, L: Mike Timlin (5, 5-3)

We were lulled into thinking the game was in hand after the fifth inning. After all, the Red Sox had scored in every inning until then and held a three-run lead.

The home team had knocked around Sidney Ponson for three innings, and granted the same discourteous treatment to University of Massachusetts-Amherst alumni Ron Villone and former Diamondbacks prospect Brian Bruney.

Julian Tavarez’s outstanding two and one-third innings of work were rendered moot by the failure of Craig Hansen and Mike Timlin to shut down the Bronx Bombers. Perhaps Hansen is too young and Timlin too old. Whatever the reason, Hansen only secured a single out in his appearance and then proceeded to walk Jason Giambi and allow consecutive singles to Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada to load the bases.

Fenway’s basepaths became a carousel for Yankee hitters. They batted around, plating seven runs in their scoring carousal. Timlin’s recent criticism of his team’s offense seems even more laughable now; The Red Sox would be scoring a lot more if they were facing pitchers of Timlin’s ilk. Timlin’s ERA for August is 8.64, up over three runs from his July mark of 5.56 and five runs above his career ERA of 3.52.

Pressing Hansen and Jon Lester into critical situations before they are completely prepared to pitch to hitters of major league caliber is not ideal. Lester has been incredibly resilient and fortunate; his 6-2 record belies his 1.49 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Other notable rookie starters have far better K/BB figures: Justin Verlander of Detroit is at 2.178, the Twin Francisco Liriano’s is a gaudy 4.44, and Jeremy Sowers in Cleveland holds steady at 2.4.

Hansen’s much-vaunted slider and fastball outclassed his peers in Double- and Triple-A but are no mystery to players in the show. Some critics have voiced concern that this early exposure may scar the young players, but I would counter that if they are so fragile, can they ever be expected to excel in professional sports at the highest level, let alone in one of its greatest rivalries?

I think it is the fans’ expectations that need to be tempered. Detroit had seasons of worse than mediocre performance before this, their breakout season. It seems fans of the Olde Towne Team expect to follow up a recent World Series title with repeat upon repeat.

The 2006 team is a hodgepodge of players young and old aggregated to be competitive but not necessarily dominate. “Hodgepodge” does imply a certain amount of confusion, and that is because of the Theo Epstein Incident last year. I think that Epstein would have preferred to hold on to Anibal Sanchez to continue to incubate his clutch of young players.

I’m going to the Futures at Fenway game this coming Saturday to witness the foundation of Boston’s future success, a triumph that is going to be accomplished on their terms. Only the Yankees can sustain their stockpiling of mercenaries in their perpetual campaign to dominate. If that is how the Red Sox decided to run their team, it would be difficult for me to stomach them.

Winning at the cost of aping the opposition isn’t winning.

« Top « Home » Category ListingMonthly Archive


RSS Feed



  • Visitors to EE since November 2004
  • Boston Phoenix Best of ’06
    Phoenix Best
  • Blog contents, images, and design
    © 2004-2015 by Joanna J.M. Hicks.
    All Rights Reserved.
    Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.