Thoughts before an early game…

In today’s Globe notebook, Lowe shows why he and others just don’t get the idea of the poorly nicknamed bullpen by committee.

“From the beginning I felt if you designated guys’ roles, then I think they’d be fine. I agree with you guys that guys go out there trying to prove that they should be the closer. It doesn’t work. They need to designate roles, `You’re this role, you’re that role.’ Some guys might not necessarily like it, but it would ease their minds so they could just go out there and pitch.

”[ Brandon] Lyon’s mind-set is that he’s the closer. No contending team is going to win without a good bullpen. You cannot have an audition every night, `[Go with] this guy, no, this guy.’ It’s too much pressure. A bullpen works when guys know when they pitch.”

See, Derek, the auditions have been because…well…it needs to be determined who the go-to guy in the pen is. The way I see it; this whole ‘committee’ thing means you go with your best guy when he’s needed. Not restrict your ‘closer’ to the 9th inning.

Todd Walker and Kevin Millar have both reached base in all 17 games they have been in..that’s pretty good, no?

11:00 AM game today for those not in New England and always forget when Patriot Day is…

Nice mojo

So on a busy Easter Sunday, I only saw bits and pieces of the game…

At house 1; we couldn’t find NESN on DirecTV; when we did, it was already 1-0 Jays. Since I was in charge of chasing around the kid; I didn’t watch more than an at bat or 2, just glanced at the score occasionally as I flew by.

En route to house 2, I put the game on the radio. When I left, it was 5-0 Jays. When I arrived at house 2, it was 5-2 Jays. Settled in to let the wife chase the kid and watch a little of the game; my father in law was so kind as to make me a nice tall G & T…and the Sox promptly tied it.

Dinner started, so I missed the end. Nice to come back and not be disappointed with the results. I did see Mendoza’s inning; he looked better. And I saw some of Timlin; he looked good as well. Hopefully, they can keep it up…

Funny aside; when Nomar came up with the score 5-3, I said to my 2 brothers-in-law (neither of which is a big basball fan) and my father-in-law (who is; unfortunately for him, it is as a Tigers fan) as I whipped out a dollar…”Bet a buck Nomar swings at the first pitch.” Nobody took me up on it; could have had 3 bucks there!

Streak rolls on..

6 in a row; nice. That’s a few games in a row with nothing to complain about (most people, anyway..). Lowe battled to get through 5, Sheill went 3 strong, Fox pitched a good 9th.

Another ‘patchwork lineup’ manages to eek out 7 runs. Unfortunately, Millartha’s hit streak comes to an end, and the Yanks stayed red hot; beating the Twins.

Won’t be around most of the day tomorrow, so for those who care, have a great Easter. For those who don’t, have a great Sunday.

Quick hits..

So Pedro says he’s not talking. As I’ve said before, I don’t care…

Tony Clark hit his 3rd HR for the Mest last night; a game winner in the 8th. Bastard. I supported his tall-ass well into June…do I get a little redemption if he tears it up this year?

Millartha vs. Godzilla (thanks again) is still looking pretty good for the Sox.

Japanese Import AVG OBP SLG HR RBI
Millartha .404 .473 .788 5 16
Godzira .308 .378 .477 2 17

Strange start time today; Kid’s Opening Day…we’ll see you then!

Some people…

…just want to piss in my cornflakes…

Sox with a nice come from behind win…helps that the Jays pen just kind of came apart, eh?

Kind of annoying, though, as in the chat during the game I had to read
-Why is Jackson still hitting? Grady sucks! (Jackson with the sac bunt to start the big inning)
-Tolar? What is this, Little league?? (Tolar with a 1-2-3 inning)
-Fox? Why not Tolar? Grady sucks! (Fox needs a little pick-me-up; 4 run lead a nice spot for it, no? Still plenty of pen for tomorrow, no?)
-Great. Belli on a roll; he’ll be out for 5 games. Grady sucks! (probably also whined about Belli at DH yesterday)

Me; I like being along for the ride so far…

Surly starters, reeling relievers, and other random thoughs

Lots of talk in this morning’s recaps about how ‘angry’ Pedro was; and how he not only showed it on the field, but he didn’t give interviews after the game. Much speculation as to his feelings about the way his contract has beeen discussed, how booing fans have affected him, and how quiet he has been since last Saturday’s bad outing.

To be honest, in my opinion, it’s all a bunch of fluff about nothing. Pedro pitched well, it was cold, yadda yadda yadda. If that was ‘Mad Pedro’, I hope he stays pissed off.

Couple pieces mention that Cloninger has notices problems with Mendoza; but nothing that can’t be fixed.

“There are two or three different things mechanically,” Cloninger said. “His arm is sound. Right now I think he is trying a little too hard and by trying too hard, he’s rushing and his bottom half is flying open and his elbow is dropping.”

Whatever the hell that means. All I get from it is that Cloninger has worked with Mendoza in the past, so hopefully he can help him out. And it’s good to hear there isn’t any arm problems.

One thing I’m sure the armchair pundits will criticize today is the fact that Miribelli started at DH and Ortiz was out of the lineup after a hot game last night.

“He (Ortiz) had a great game (Wednesday) night, but to keep him going, I think it’s best not to play him tonight,” Little said prior to the Sox’ 6-0 victory. “With the weather like it is, I don’t think any of them are going to beat down my door to find out why they’re not in there. I think they all realize that even when you’re sitting on the bench, you have a real chance to get in there and be the hero of the game.”

Funny thing is, the same people that will complain about it are those who said before Wednesday’s game “Why the hell is Ortiz in the lineup??”. And in my opinion, that’s 2 nice ‘hunch’ moves in a row by Grady…Ortiz/Lil G Wednesday, and Miribelli last night.

Also mentioned in a couple spots is the speculation that Lyon is now the go-to guy in the pen. Let’s remember it was one inning vs. the Devil Rays, people. I do like his chances to actually emerge as that guy; but let’s get a bigger sample size, OK? I still love the fact that Lyon is only 23…perhaps if he DOES become the go-to guy, he can be that guy for a few years. And if he emerges, Timlin stays consistant, Mendoza gets better, and Person can help..well, that’s not such a terrible pen, right?

Damn; that’s too many ‘ifs’.

Two in a row

That there really isn’t anything to complain about! Pedro goes 7 strong in frigid temps, Timlin with 2 more shutout innings for the save. Some questioned the wisdom of Belli in as DH; but hey, he hit a dinger! As did 2003’s best import from Japan, Kevin Millar(tha).(get it? Millartha? Mothra? To Matsui’s Godzilla? Oh, forget it…I stole it from Obey Pedro anyway)
Again, I was ultra-hosed by the Bruins. I actually went to one of the biggest sports bars in CT when I saw the game wasn’t on TV, and even they didn’t have the game. At least this time I could listen on the radio; but I can’t wait until they are knocked out of the playoffs.

I’ll have more thoughts in the morning…

Hey, Look at that..

…I didn’t pull any hair out or kick any dogs last night!

Seriously; an all around “that’s the way it should be” performance. Timely hitting, good pen, there should be nothing to complain about. I’m sure some would whine about Millar not being in the lineup; but you can’t complain about Ortiz and Lil G last night (for once).

Courant Sox notes mentions Cloninger working with Mendoza, and no mention of any physical problems. Yes, he has been awful, but let’s not talk of eating his contract and letting him go just yet, eh?

Corsi on Mendoza:

”This is all about your head,” Corsi said. ”He’s throwing 90, 91 miles an hour, and you can’t do that if your arm is hurt. But where’s his head at? He knows he’s better than this. The people who signed him know he’s better than this. What you feel worst about in that situation are the guys that are battling with you. You don’t feel sorry for yourself, you feel sorry for them.

”I’ve been in the bullpen before and failed. That’s the worst thing. But a couple of 1-2-3 innings can turn it all around.”

Can’t say I don’t agree with those sentiments…

Also, a great quote from Lil G to help keep things in perspective:

“It’s a little more exploited when you struggle at the beginning of the season than when you go through it in the middle. When you go through a 2-for-20 slump in the middle, nobody recognizes it because you go from .300 to .280. But at the beginning, it’s a little more exploited.”

Whew…

And will the friggin Bruins get beat already???

Here I was; all excited for 2003 because I would get virtually every Sox game. Well, for the 3rd time this year, the Bruins screwed me last night. No game for me.

So I heard most of it on the radio; got home and had to ‘watch’ the rest via Gamecast. The worst part is that I was watching the Yankee game on YES; listening to smarmy Michael Kay make snide comments about the Sox bullpen as the scores came in.

Well; all’s well that ends well, right? The funny thing is; when Shea was up with the bases loaded; I didn’t even realize that it was the 9th inning. So when he knocked in a run, here I was sitting there on my laptop thinking “Why did only one run score? What the hell?”. Nice outing by Fossum, though. Guess he’s shown he can really handle the Devil Rays…

So on to less happy things….the bullpen is problematic. I’m officially moving out of my ‘give them a chance’ and into my ‘something needs to be done’ phase. Now I remember why I was usually happy when Mendoza was brought into a Yankee game. Nevermind the stats, I just never had a ‘Oh, shit, insert dominating reliever here vibe when he was brought in. Guess I still don’t.

Here’s the part where I actually read the recaps and comment…Globe title of game recap is definitely appropriate…”Hillenbrand gets save“. Guess he’s part of the committee now? Hey; excellent news! Howry is NOT part of the committee now! To me, that’s a great sign that they are trying to do something about the problem…

Does that count…

…as a good bullpen performance? Considering Wakes is in the rotation…not to mention he made the hearts a-flutter in the 9th.

Lowe pretty much breezed through the game. Guess he really did find a problem in his mechanics, as he said after his last start. Manny 0-fer again; really not performing since I picked him up in roto.

Tek’s RBI hit late in the game was interesting…starting pitcher had a 2-1 count on him (I believe) and Tek was batting lefty. Somehow, the O’s starter got hurt, and after a delay, they brought a lefty out of the pen. So Tek moved to the other side; and on the 2nd pitch as a righty hitter, he got the hit…

That was my first game of the year; and I’m a little bitter about my seats that I got in the Sunday Sox Pax. 2 rows from the back of section 7..can’t see the scoreboard, can’t see first base. Save Fenway my ass.