Buehrle was the most disappointing aspect of today’s game. The offense did not look great early (making quick outs against a guy like Baker with a big deficit), but they did wake up later in the game. In the end, the deficit became too big and the Sox lose the series. At the start of this series I said that anyone in their lineup could beat the Sox, and sure enough, Carlos Gomez kills Sox pitching again, which is a shame since he’s gotten benched for his poor offense this season.
The Sox gave another one away tonight. John Danks’ 1st inning from hell ends up costing the Sox. His four straight walks to start the game all come in to score and end up being the difference.
This loss really frustrated me. Ozzie shot the Sox in the foot too many times with his decisions today . I’m not going to pretend to be a baseball genius, but everything played out exactly as I expected it too. Trust me, I took no pride in being right, it was actually frustrating as hell! But yes, for a while I’ve been mad about the same decisions that took place in the game today:
-The decision to start Clayton Richard: I don’t know what Clayton Richard has shown that tells the Sox he deserves more starts. Aaron Poreda was called up, give the kid a shot and use him! Why else is Poreda up? Too often the Sox misuse their prospects and make their jobs much harder than they should be. We take Poreda away from his regular starts and use him here and there. We bring up Beckham and say ‘here kid, and learn a new position while you’re at it’. We platoon guys when they should be starting (who remembers Anderson vs. Mackowiak?). Anyways, enough painful memories, and back to, well painful memories…Clayton Richard. There was the short period after the Peavy trade where Richard had some trade value, but you just knew he had no where to go but down, and the plummet continues. I mean, who didn’t see this coming?
– Following up Richard with Carrasco: Carrasco has decent stats this year, but I don’t know what tells Ozzie that Carrasco could be the stopper or that he should be used in some sort of long-man role. I could see a team using Carrasco when they concede a blowout or are running thin and really need to give other relievers some rest, but Ozzie seems to think much more highly of him. Of course, Carrasco then goes on to give up more runs. Needing that bullpen guy to stop the bleeding is very important when a team tries to come back and the Sox failed to do it twice today.
(Poreda is finally brought in, does his job, and is then pulled…)
– Octavio Dotel: I have a love-hate relationship with Octavio Dotel. I think Ozzie Guillen is just in love with him. He loves to use him, and seems to like to do it in any situation possible. The one situation I hate to see is when Guillen brings Dotel into the game in the 6th. Ozzie has loved to do this in 09 and I absolutely hate it. This means that the bullpen will now have to handle 4 innings of outs, meaning that it’s likely that either all of Dotel, Thornton, Linebrink, and Jenks will be used, or that one of those guys will go more than one inning. Now, using simple odds, how likely is it going to be that so many bullpen guys are all going to be ‘on’ on a given night? And how comfortable are you when any of those guys goes more than one inning? Would it kill to have a guy like Poreda go one more inning?
Anyways, Dotel comes in and promptly gives up a run, which again hurts the comeback momentum. It was only the top of the 6th, but the momentum effect was clear and I already felt like the Sox were done, which is a sad statement against the Indians’ bullpen.
So, the Sox go on to lose 10-8. My gripes sound like second-guessing if you don’t know me, but if you do know me, you’ll know that I’ve been harping on these points for weeks (take my word for it 🙂 ). So tonight you’ve learned that I hate:
-using Dotel early or ‘handing it over to the bullpen’ in the 6th
-using Carrasco in a meaningful role
-continuing to count on Richard when you have a guy like Poreda
-and now a new one, using pinch hitters against closers (This was done today with Wise. Again, not the first time Ozzie has done this in 09. Guys don’t see a pitch all day and then they’re asked to hit off a closer? Not to mention it’s fricken Dewayne Wise…)
I don’t hate Ozzie Guillen. No manager will be perfect and no one would be able to please every fan, but I have to continue to question the way Ozzie handles the pitching staff and rotation. I really believe he blew it today and this was a win the Sox should’ve had against a bad team. The one positive is that the offense did try to come back and did score 8 runs. The bad news is that it was done against a bad pitcher and it didn’t continue against a bad bullpen.