Results tagged ‘ Red Sox ’
The Boston Red Sox may have thought they had things locked down at the beginning of September. They were 83-52 and the closest team to them, the Rays, were 74-61. Things have changed since the Saux have lost 10 of 13 and are just 2-9 to start the month, especially while the Rays ride their young stars to a 25-13 record since August 1st. It shouldn’t come as a great surprise considering some of the aging, injuries, and under-performing that they have gone through this season.
When Boston fans look back on the season, they’ll wonder how a team with a $166.7 million payroll can give 32 starts to Andrew Miller and Tim Wakefield. The two have combined to post a 12-9 record, 5.19 ERA and a 121/77 K/BB in 201 innings. Wakefield has been around and his experience and rubber-armed knuckler are nice for reflective purposes, but is he someone to rely on? Andrew Miller is 26 and on his third organization, basically cut by the Marlins. He has potential to thrive but he also has the potential to blow up and walk ten guys in three innings.
The injuries have piled up like crazy this season. J.D. Drew has *shockingly* played in just 77 games, a guy who has never played in more than 146 games in his 14 seasons and has SOMEHOW managed to earn over $94 million in his mediocre career. Kevin Youkilis has battled hip and hernia issues to post his lowest OPS since his first full season, with his lowest batting average since his rookie campaign of 2004. Carl Crawford is easily having the worst season of his career after getting a monster contract. Clay Buchholz has battled a devastating back injury all season and John Lackey has battled sucking to the tune of a 12-12 record and 6.30 ERA over 25 of the ugliest starts you’ll ever see from someone not named A.J. Burnett making $15.25 million. Josh Beckett sprained his push off ankle and may have to become the next Schilling to make the Red Sox matter. David Ortiz was pulled from tonight’s game with back spasms. It is hideous and nothing short of surprising that the Red Sox are still three games up on Tampa Bay with their 85-61 record.
Boston doesn’t have a lot of depth that is serviceable. Their top backups are Conor Jackson, Ryan Lavarnway, Mike Aviles, Darnell McDonald, and the recently signed Joey Gathright. If anyone else gets hurt and these guys have to step in, there is no way that they are going to hold onto the Wild Card. Especially not with 60% of the rotation sporting a combined 5.66 ERA in Miller, Lackey, and Wakefield. Especially when you don’t know what or if you’re going to get out of Beckett or Buchholz down the stretch. Especially when the Rays have nothing to lose, they have Desmond Jennings, and they just called up Matt Moore. Suddenly, football can take a seat to a pennant race. Suddenly, baseball is going to be fun to watch again. Add in the fact that the Rays play the Red Sox Thursday through Sunday in what could be the most interesting four-game series of the season. If the Rays make it through that series, though, they still have the Yankees for seven games before the season is up…Don’t give up on baseball yet!
If you think things are tough in the world, just think about the poor, poor Yankees and Red Sox. The Yankees have a payroll in 2011 of $ 202,689,028, the Red Sox payroll for 2011 is $ 161,762,475. Why is this an issue? Because despite payroll and trades, both teams can’t field the pitching staffs that they want to. If any two teams could go back and make another deal for a pitcher, it would be both teams.
The Red Sox suffered a huge blow today with the announcement of Clay Buchholz having a stress fracture in his back. He’ll be out the rest of the season. Despite gaining Erik Bedard, they still have John Lackey (9-8, 6.20 ERA) and Andrew Miller (4-1, 5.36 ERA) in their 5-man rotation. Think they would have been happy if Hiroki Kuroda waived his no-trade clause, if Jeremy Guthrie was traded by the O’s, or if Charlie Hough came out of retirement? Yes to all of the above. They need a starter. Tim Wakefield is still in the picture and Alfredo Aceves would be valuable as a starter, but they don’t have any prospects to bring up outside of Felix Doubront.
The Yankees are going to a 6-man rotation with the successful outing that Ivan Nova had in the doubleheader with Baltimore this weekend. Still, those six haven’t been as sexy as in years past. C.C. Sabathia has been dominant (15-5, 2.56 ERA) and you have to wonder how much is left in Freddy Garcia (10-7, 3.22 ERA) and Bartolo Colon (8-6, 3.30 ERA) as the season goes on. A.J. Burnett has been as inconsistent as always (8-9, 4.23 ERA) and Phil Hughes (1-3, 8.24 ERA) looks dead, even with his “dead-arm” healed. Ivan Nova (9-4, 4.01 ERA) coming back from a minor ankle injury could help, but look at what they have here.
Teams in large markets dominate the payroll list, the top seven are the Yankees, Phillies, Red Sox, Angels, White Sox, Cubs, and Mets. Philadelphia seems to be taking steps towards becoming the National League version of the Yankees, trading for and buying talent to succeed. Good for them. However, at some point, buying your talent and dealing your young pitching depth could bury you. Josh Beckett is great, but how great would Boston look with Anibal Sanchez (6-4, 3.74 ERA) and Hanley Ramirez (15 2B, 10 HR, 19 SB in his WORST season to date). The Yankees have Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos coming up through the system, but they, and the Red Sox, have made so many deals involving young talent that they have had no other choice. Now, in the luxury tax, they fear taking on more salary to offset their short comings. We aren’t even talking about Carl Crawford here. If you pay for talent and they don’t work out, you end up starting guys like Colon and Miller on your team. I remember when spending money used to get you something. It doesn’t look like they spent it wisely with their starting pitching.