Epic Meltdown…..

  The good news for the Boston Red Sox today is…they will not be the lead story on  ESPN or the MLB Channel….thankfully that spot is reserved for the Chicago White Sox and Phil Umber.  Thats pretty much where the good news ends for the boys from Beantown…as they they drop a game that may haunt them as much as any last September.  I can still hear Bobby Valentine’s comments from his press conference on how grateful and humbled he was for the opportunity to manage the Red Sox….I wonder if he would pass a lie detector saying those words now.

  It all seemed to be going the Sox way today…they “seemed” to finally be clicking on offense…defense and of course the all important pitching aspect of the game.  They had nine runs on the board and a quality start in the books by Felix Doubront today…whose overpowering performance will be lost in this shuffle to be sure.  One would think that an eight run lead with 9 outs to get would be safe….but with this bullpen…it appears no lead is safe…and truer words have not been written.

  It is always shocking to watch multiple pitchers fail this badly in the same game.  For starters I’m not sure why Matt Albers is still on the roster…plain and simple…the bloom is off the onion for Albers to be sure.  In the end though…the Sox still had a lead when they handed the ball to thier closer with no outs in the 8th.  When Aceves left the game…not only did he blow the save…but he had put the game totally out of reach for the Red Sox.  The bottom line here is…the Sox have played 14 games and Aceves has blown 3 saves…he is not a closer plain and simple….more truth…the Sox have no one in thier ENTIRE system that can close games.  So this closing games thing is not gonna go away, because to go along with not being to close…the Sox also lack a set up man as well for the 7th and 8th innings….all compelling problems for a team that went uber cheap in the offseason.

  The bullpen numbers this week have been BEYOND astronomical, and the solution it appears will be as hard to solve as our National Debt.  I will say one thing…I’m not quite sure the fans are booing Bobby V every time he changes a pitcher, for starters Bobby is not doing the pitching.  The fans need to turn thier ire to the ownership and hurt them where it counts…at the gates.

  Where the Sox go from here is anyone’s guess.  I know there will be quotes that they will fine..and tomorrow is another game…but this type of loss is the type that sticks with a team longer than one day.  There are demons that are going to haunt this team for a long time.  it is clear they are leaderless…and that they still have not shaken off last September.  The bottom line though is pretty simple…when you suffer the worst meltdown ever with a team leading by nine games….and your ownership does NOTHING to fix the problems at hand…I’m not sure why anyone would think or assume the outcome would be different.

 

posted by Jonathan Dunlow

you can follow me on twitter during games @rsndaily

Top Ten Reasons…It’s Not Over!!!

  Well if you like me…and you have already purchased the MLB Ticket…you are finacially vested to your hopes the Sox will come back…otherwise that’s $200 buxs you ain’t never getting back….just like bad free agents contracts…MLB Ticket subscriptions are for the life of the season.  Just for this blog…for this instance…let’s say there is 10 reason’s the Sox still have hope…and they aren’t out of it just yet.  Here they are…

 

10.  Talent like this…can’t play this bad for this long.  The Sox have a starting 7 that is better that most of the league…they have a rotation that is on paper better than most teams…at least the top three spots.  The Sox also have pitching depth this season with Dice K and Aaron Cook set to return very soon.  Did you ever think we would want to see Dice K back?

9.  Manager Bobby V has made quite a few mistakes with the pitching staff early….those mistakes are not going to be as frequent…and I assure you his trigger finger will be faster in the future.

8.  Whether the snap out of it when Carl Crawford returns or when they have thier complete line up…there is no way the offense can be this feeble for too much longer.  The Sox have too much firepower through most of there line up to be THIS BAD

7.  More offense….No way Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez continue to be just large checks written.  Both guys were on their way to Hall of Fame careers when they got to Boston…so it is easy to assume both players will get back on that track.  Gonzalez showed a great deal of power in a pitcher’s park….at some freaking point…his power numbers will return.

6. The catching numbers will improve…if Salty can’t hit…and he can’t throw out runners…and he can’t get on base….the Sox will make a move….they have Ryan Lavarnway in Triple A.  Sure he is a liability behind the dish…but hell Salty is as well…and his offense is flat-lined.

5. The starting pitching will improve….listen the Sox are playing and have played (with the exception of the Rays) the best American League teams they are going to face all season.  All line ups are not going to be as difficult as the ones they have faced to start the year.  The schedule will ease up and the American League’s worst starting rotation will be replaced by some other team not named the Red Sox.

4. The bullpen…whew can I say it with a straight face..that they will be better….gonna try.  Mark Malencon will get it figured out in Pawtucket….I know the NL is not the Amercian League East…but is still the Major’s.  The Sox will soon be adding starting depth…so some of these starters (better be Bard) will be going to the bullpen…therfore the bullpen will get stronger and better.  Not much of an argument…but what can I say really…they do suck.

3. It’s early….I know the Sox occupy dead last in the Amercian League East…but you don’t really believe the O’s are better right.  Also teams do and can start slow….look at the Angels and thier awful start after spending a shit ton of money (deja-vu).  You don’t believe the Angels are this bad right….the Sox have a team very similiar team to the Halo’s….so if it ain’t over for them…it’s not over for us.

2. Teams like the Jays will come back to earth…teams can start out hot early…but gravity always comes into play.  How many times have the Sox started poorly and finished winning 90 games or more.  How many April’s have the O’s started hot…only to be in dead last by Memorial Day….all of em for the last decade or so….things tend to balance out in baseball.

1. Of course the obvious reason it is not over for the Sox…is the addition of the new wild card spot.  As bad as last years ending was…and it was….the SOx would have made the post-season last year if Bud had pulled the trigger sooner on the new spot.  When it all shakes out…there are 3 teams that will win divisions…leaving two spots….and lets face it…only the Rangers/Yankees/Tigers/Angels/Rays/Red Sox look to compete for those spots.  Easy math there….we only have to be better than one team on that list at the end of 162 games.

Dead Sox Walking…..

As I watched the pomp and circumstance of today’s 100 year celebration of Fenway Park…I wondered several things.  One…was how the Sox would play today…would they be fired up…and two…I wondered if Pedro in the Booth was better now…than anyone we have pitching currently.  I gotta tell ya…after today’s outcome…I am sure more than a few former Red Sox players are thinking the same thing.

  It did not take long to see if any momentum from Clay Bucholtz last start was going to carry over into today’s festitivities.  The Yankee’s got to Bucholtz early and often and pretty much had thier way with string bean today.  It was another boorish performance for Buchy who just can’t seem to get it going.  The Yank’s tee’d off today as well…much like the Rangers…to the tune of 5 long balls.  The good news today…was the bullpen managed to pitch three scoreless innings….thats it..thats the list of good things that happened today other than seeing Jenny Dell and some of the former Sox stars and players.

  The offense was AGAIN another no show…scoring a whopping two runs.  The Sox if you are scoring at home have scored three or less runs 8 times this year.  There was a school of thought that the Sox would not pitch well…but would win some slug outs with teams…but thus far we have seen NO evidence of that being the case.  Too many guys getting into pitchers counts…letting starting pitching go way too deep into the ballgame.  I know the Sox are injured…but that excuse does not cover the offense.  The Sox still field a pretty good 7 night in and night out…and that should be enough…the thing is…it’s not.  Adrian Gonzalez continues to produce at a rate that is so feeble…it starts to make one wonder…did the Sox get rooked on his long contract as well.  The Red Sox catcher isn’t much better…but the Sox aren’t paying him to hit…and it is a good damn thing they don’t….since he has only 3 for the season.

  Tomorrow is another day for the Sox and the odds are not in thier favor…it is going to be another long day.  This Sox team is one of the worst constructed I have have seen in 28 years of watching.  The players with the exception of a few seem to not care about the spector that is the season in front of them.  It is early…but as I have blogged many times…all games count once the season starts…can’t clinch a playoff berth in April…but you can certainly make the moutain getting to it to high to overcome.

 

posted by Jonathan Dunlow

you can follow Red Sox Nation Daily during games @rsndaily on twitter.

“The Reluctant Slugger”

  Have you seen a sports guy that you didn’t have a good feeling about…for some unknown reason.  For me..that guy was Adrian Gonzalez.  Sure…I ain’t gonna lie…I was excited when the Sox got him.  I figured like all Sox fans that this guy would balance the Sox line up out…be a force in the middle of the line up.  On paper it would appear that Gonzo is doing that…except as real baseball fans know…the game isn’t played on paper.

  As a fan you want your superstars to step up and be accountable and to be leaders of the team…not excuse makers and whiners.  Well looks like the Sox got the latter in Adrian Gonzalez.  Gonzo took no blame  for the Sox collaspe (his 3rd team in as many years to gagg down the stretch)…and in fact he had some of the worst quotes this side of Allen Iverson.  There was the Sunday Night Baseball excuse…and of course…”God”s Will”.  I can assure you Adrian….God has little to do with the outcome of Red Sox baseball games….if he did…they would be 162-0 every year.

  The flip side to Gonzo NOT being a leader on this team (except in salary)…are the disturbing trends his production has taken the last 90-100 games dating back to last season.  It started all peaches and herb for Gonzo…but dating back to July 1st….Gonzo has been an average performer at best.  First off…Gonzo batted just .183 versus the Yankees and worse still he batted .131 versus the Rays.  So for a total of 36 games versus the Sox biggest rivals…the dude goes completely flat…pretty much showing what he is made off.

  The trends get worse than his barely there batting average versus the big boys.  Since July 1st a span of 90 games….Gonzo has produced 50 rbi and 12 homers…which over the span of a 162 game season is 17 homers and 78 rbi…and we though Carl Crawford was a bad deal.  One thing Gonzo is good at is getting on base via a walk or a single…what he is bad at is running the bases…and his presence on the base baths usually result in a double play or holding other base runners up.  In my time as a Red Sox fan I have never seen as many wall ball singles as I have off the bat of Gonzalez.

  The future is now for the Red Sox and Adrian Gonzalez. It is time for him to put up or shut up.  The Sox need a guy who is going to step up to the plate and replace the hole left and never filled by Manny Rameriz’s bat.  Is Gonzo the guy….only time will tell if he is…or if the stage and moment in Boston are too much for the would be reluctant slugger.

 

posted by Jonathan Dunlow

Around the Horn….Dirty Water Edition….

  By definition…the job of a 4th and 5th starter is to give the TEAM a chance to win.  Indeed that is what Felix Doubront has done in his starts for the Boston Red Sox…given them a chance to win….and guess what…they are 2-0 in the lefty’s starts in the early going.

  Mostly today, Felix Doubront had his way with the Ray’s…doing a great job getting ahead of the hitters and staying out of bad counts.  Doubront was overpowering at times….striking out a total of 7 batters in 5 plus innings of work.  As is the case with young pitchers…Felix was not as efficient as he could be, and the 5th inning was an adventure…but not all of it was his fault.  Both Jason Lepko and Cody Ross misplayed balls in the 5th that could have been outs that prevented runs.  For some reason that I’m sure Bobby V will have an explantion for….Doubront was brought back for the 6th inning.  He promptly gave up a solo homer to Luke Scott and his awesome sideburns, and that was his day and his chance to figure in the decison.

  For the third day in a row…..the Sox faced a “phenom”…and for the third day in a row…that phenom was sent packing on the short end of the stick.  Today the Sox got Matt Moore, the #2 prospect in all the land.  At times Moore dominated the Sox hitters with his fastballs, but the Sox were able to get to the young pitcher several times….scoring six earned runs off him.  David Ortiz continued to have the best April of his life with another multi hit day going 3-4 and driving in another run.  Mike Aviles and Cody Ross both homered for the second day in a row.  Aviles has done an ok job of filling in for Jacoby Ellsbury….like Jacoby…Aviles doesn’t take many walks…and has to hit his way on base.

  The bullpen made it interesting late…but the combo of Scott Atchison, Vincente Padilla and Franklin Morales bridged the gap unscathed to get the ball to closer Alfredo Aceves…who pitched another 1-2-3 9th inning for his 2nd save of the season.

  It will be Big Game James tomorrow for the Rays, as the Sox counter with 5th starter wanna be Daniel Bard.  It is being reported that Bard’s last outing wasn’t as bad as it looked…I dunno..I saw it…looked pretty mediocre to me.  Bard needs to have a good performance in the finale…. Aaron Cook has looked great in Pawtucket and has a May 1st opt out.  Something will have to give…and hopefully it will  be Bard. 

  First pitch tomorrow is 11am….it’s Patriots Day in the Hub.  The Boston Marathon will also be run, as Monday is an exciting day to be in Boston.  Sox will be looking for the four game sweep tomorrow, as they wrap up the series.

 

posted by Jonathan Dunlow

you can also follow me on twitter @rsndaily

True Grit…..

   If Friday’ opening day win was a show of dominating pitching…overpowering finese and timely and late hitting, then yesterday’s win was one of perserverance…grit and overcoming adversity.

  Even the though the Sox were riding high from Friday’s blowout win over the hated Rays…they had just been dealt the news that lead-off hitter and offensive table setter Jacoby Ellsbury went on the DL for an extended period of time.  Couple that with another poor first inning for Clay Bucholtz, yesterday had the makings of another long afternoon for the faithful at the Fens.   A funny thing happened though on the way to the Sox being blown out at home by the Rays….they weren’t.  Clay Bucholtz buckled down after a rocky first inning and the Boston hitters gave baby-faced Ray’s pitcher Jeremy Helickson an ass-beating he won’t soon forget.

  Bucholtz showed flashes of the promise that we have all heard about….but havent seem much of since 2010.  Buchy settled in after that first inning, and kept the Rays off balance with the full aray of his pitches.  Clay was able to keep his pitch count low after the first inning, and limit the damage to just one run the rest of the way, going seven innings.  Bucholtz line for the day was seven innings pitched, 5 earned runs, six hits, and three walks to go along with  five strikeouts, more impressive than his line was his post 1st innings totals, six innings…one run…2 hits and 2 walks.

  The Red Sox offense made sure that Buchy’s efforts were not wasted yesterday…exploding for 13 runs a day after scoring 12.  The Sox quickly ate into the 1st inning deficit by playing a little home run derby with Helickson.  Salty, Pede  and Big Papi both went yard in the early going off Helickson.  In the end the phenoms line ended up with five earned runs in 5 innings pitched, with seven hits and three walks.  Helickson wasn’t alone in his pitching frustrations….the Ray’s bullpen again did it’s best Boston Blow-pen again yesterday….pitching three innings and giving up 8 runs on 8 hits, to go along with a pair of dingers by Mike Aviles and Cody Ross.  The 8th inning again was bad news for the Rays as the Sox got 5 runs to seal the deal.

  As it has been said before…momentum is only as good as today’s starting pitcher.  Today Felix Duobront faces another “phenom” in Matt Moore. Today is the day the young lefty will make his bones with the Fenway faithful and turn two wins in a row into three.  First pitch is at 1:35!!

posted by Jonathan Dunlow

THE TEN….

  After watching yesterday’s 12- 2 beat down of the Rays yesterday….I felt like it was time for the first top ten list of the season.

 

10.  THE BOSTON RED SOX HAVE NOW WON THIER HOME OPENER 3 YEARS IN A ROW.  FUN FACT…THE HAVE ALSO LOST THE 2ND GAME OF THE HOME OPENER 3 THREE YEARS IN A ROW…DO I HEAR??

 

9. MARK MELANCON WHO IS WAS “SUPPOSED” TO BE A CLOSER CANDIDATE AND A LOCK FOR SET UP MAN….HAS NOT RETIRED TWO BATTERS IN A ROW IN ANY OF OF HIS OUTTINGS…NOR HAS HE PITCHED A SCORELESS INNING….I BELIEVE RED SOX NATION DAILY HAD THIS RIGHT WHEN WE FIRST GOT MELANCON.

 

8. SINCE 2009 A SPAN NOW 4 SEASON THE BOSTON RED SOX HAVE STARTED THE FIRST 3 WEEKS OF THE SEASON WITH A LOSING RECORD.  MAYBE THESE BOYS NEED TO BE REMINDED THAT ALL GAMES COUNT

 

7. I MAY BE A DOUCHE-BAG…BUT MAN IT SEEMS LIKE THE RED SOX HAVE A BUNCH OF “SOFT” PLAYERS.  JACOBY DLLSBURY NOW JOINS RYAN KALISH AND CARL CRAWFORD ON THE DL…FORMING THE GREATEST O.F. COMBO TO EVER BE ON THE DL

 

6. I SECOND THAT…THE RED SOX ALSO HAVE ALMOST A PLAYOFF ROTATION AND BULLPEN ON THE DL AS WELL.  DICE K, JOHN LACKEY, RICH HILL, ANDREW MILLER, BOBBY JENKS…AND I THREW THREE PITCHES AND GOT RELEASED CARLOS SILVA….(MY PICK FOR THE 5TH SPOT IN THE ROTATION P.S.)

 

5. IT WON’T BE BOBBY V’S FAULT THE SOX STINK ON WHEAT THIS YEAR…BUT AT SOME POINT HE WILL BE FUN TO WATCH…AND WILL MISSED AFTER HIS ONE-AND-DONE SEASON IN THE HUB.

 

4. THE NOMINATIONS ARE IN FOR WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS EATTING…AND THE AWARD IS A TIE…JOSH BECKETT AND KEVIN YOUKILIS.  BECKETT LOOKS LIKE HE STILL MAINTAINS HIS REGIMENT OF POPEYES CHICKEN.  BECKETT CAME TO CAMP NOT CONTRITE..NOT SORRY…AND NOT SLIM…WHAT IS HE GOING TO LOOK LIKE THIS SEPTEMEBER.  THE YOUKER NEEDS TO LAY OFF DUNKIN DONUTS I THINK…HIS RANGE HAS GONE TO SHIT…HIS BAT IS SLOWER THAN INSTANT REPLAY…AND HE IS STARTING TO LOOK LIKE THE PILLSBERRY DOUGH BOY.

 

3.  NOT SO FAST SCOTT(SATAN) BORAS…ON THE WAY TO LINING UP THAT BIG PAYDAY FOR JACOBY DLLSBURY BORAS FORGOT A FEW KEY THINGS THAT AREN’T GOING TO BE GOOD READING IN THAT BOOK HE PREPARES FOR HIS CLIENTS…SINCE BREAKING IN 2007…DLLSBURY HAS NEVER PLAYED WELL OR HEALTHY IN BACK-TO-BACK SEASON.  IN 2008 HE WAS REPLACED BY COCO CRISP…IN 2009 HE PLAYED WELL…IN 2010 HE MISSED THE ENTIRE SEASON WITH THE SAME INJURY THAT KEPT RANGERS JOSH HAMILTON OUT FOR 3 WEEKS.  DLLSBURY DID BOUNCE BACK IN 2011…BUT WHATS THE OVER UNDER ON HIS LATEST INJURY….I SAY PLUS 30 DAYS OVER THE 8 WEEKS THEY ARE SAYING NOW…BOOK IT…

 

2. WHO IS WITH ME…WHEN THEY SHOWED LARRY LUCCINO, TOM WARNER AND JOHN HENRY SITTING AND LAUGHING AND LOOKING GOOFY TOGETHER DURING YESTERDAYS GAME….I COULD HELP BUT STOP AND THINK…IS THIS ANOTHER NESN PLUG FOR THE THREE STOOGES MOVIE…OPENING EVERYWHERE FRIDAY 13TH 2013….

 

1.  OWNER OF THE COINED PHRASE “EVIL EMPIRE” LARRY LUCCINO WAS RECENTLY QUOTED AS SAYING THAT THE RED SOX WOULD DEF BE ADDING PAYROLL DURING THE SEASON.  HEY ASS-BAG…WHY DIDNT YOU ADD PAYROLL DURING THE OFFSEASON…WHEN…DUH…THERE WERE PLAYERS AVAILABLE VIA FREE AGENCY…..THE RED SOX RECENT WAYS OF DOING BUSINESS ARE REPUBLICAN-ESQUE AND SOMETIMES MAKE LESS SENSE THAN THAT.  TRADING FOR TWO CLOSERS FOR TEAMS THAT LOST 100 GAMES…ONE OF WHICH HAD A HISTORY OF INJURIES….GETTING RID OF BOTH STARTING SS IN FAVOR…OF NOT HAVING ONE….NOT ADDING ONE FUCKING STARTING PITCHER WHO FINISHED THE 2011 SEASON ON AN MLB ROSTER…..IF THE SOX WIN 82 GAMES THIS YEAR WITH THE PITCHING DEPTH AND BULLPEN THEY HAVE BOBBY V SHOULD BE GIVEN A LIFETIME CONTRACT……