Category Listing
Monthly Archive
Baseball Reference
Red Sox Links

Recent Posts
Recent Comments
Essential Empy

Home » July 2008 Game CommentsJuly 2008 » Reeled


Game 86: July 1, 2008
Red Sox 1 L: Tim Wakefield (5-6) 50-36, 4 game losing streak
WinRays 3 W: Matt Garza (7-4)
H: J.P. Howell (6)
S: Grant Balfour (2)
51-32, 3 game winning streak
Highlights: The Rays bullpen reminds me of what the Red Sox bullpen did last year. Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon would close down the final two innings of games with regularity and if Papelbon wasn’t available Okajima could close out the game.

Previous incarnations of the (Devil Rays) consisted of a surfeit of talented hitters and a dearth of arms. Last year the team nailed down the makings of a dominant starting rotation by drafting David Price and spinning a powerful bat (Delmon Young) for another young gun (Matt Garza). Add these talents to the established Scott Kazmir and the emergent James Shields and the expansion franchise was two-thirds of the way to a team to be reckoned with.

That most capricious element of a baseball team, the bullpen, has solidified at last for the Rays. So many of the Red Sox’s comebacks came at a misplaced pitch by a Tampa Bay reliever.

So far in 2008 it seems the obverse is the rule: Boston’s bullpen is maddeningly inconsistent and unreliable while these Floridian upstarts slam the door on erstwhile rallies.

Yesterday Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus (subscription required) posted an analysis of Jacoby Ellsbury’s career arc thus far and revealed the center fielder’s troubling trend towards increasing strikeout rates with each promotion. Sheehan’s thinking was much in line with Dennis Eckersley’s analysis in his NESN segment; both observers noted that Ellsbury hasn’t sustained the power that he flashed when he first got on the big league squad nor has he got on base enough to use what appears to be his best offensive asset, his speed. The comparisons to Johnny Damon seem overly optimistic given that Damon made a major league roster at age 22, giving the former Royal and Red Sox player two more years to figure out major league pitching.

Ellsbury is at a crossroads, and last night seemed to be a step down the right path. The outfielder went 2-for-4 with one questionable call in the eighth by the official scorer that had him reach base on an error rather than a hit. Ellsbury scored the only run by the visitors, aided by a throwing error by a panicked Dioner Navarro.

There were several times in the late innings when Boston could have tied or taken the lead: J.D. Drew and Manny Ramirez popped out in the sixth with two men on, Mike Lowell grounded out to short with the bases loaded to end the eighth, and Jason Varitek whiffed on high heat with Alex Cora on second to end the game.

Post a comment

« 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.