Very profound words and words to ponder as I write this post... and as baseball's regular season enters the final 3 weeks, the Red Sox continue their play-off hunt... and the football season commences, soon to be followed by hockey and basketball. WHAT A TIME OF YEAR !!!!... a busy one at that for a sport's fan....
Ha, 4 days since posting - your luck has just run out !!!!!
Allow me to translate Coach Belichick's words of wisdom as it relates to our beloved Beantown Bombers... "Offense wins games, PITCHING wins championships !!!" Nuf Ced
The Terrific Trio..... Arguably developing as one of the most formidable 1-2-3 punches in all of professional baseball is the RLR combination of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz..... this weekend's sweep of the Rays is evidence of this... and certainly critical as our boys play some 21 games without a day-off after today....
Beckett seems to have fixed what was "mechanically" (uh, hem) wrong with a dominant performance on Saturday night... the 2-seamer was a thing of beauty. He pitched a rain-shortened complete game - officially going 5 innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits and PUNCHING out 4 in a 9-1 drubbing that saw the bats pummel home 8 runs in the 3rd round.. uh inning... read that again.. NO, I didn't say "pummel 8 HOME RUNS"... but close enough...
Continuing the flurry yesterday in the first game of a rain-induced double header was Buchhy... Unfortunately, I jinxed him, uttering (actually typing) those fatal words... "Clay has no-hit stuff today"... which he really did.. and he made not 1 but TWO fantastic fielding plays to preserve that chance.
He didn't pitch a no-no, actually he didn't even pick up the win as the bats (it DOES take offense to win!!!) didn't give Clay a lot of support... BUT, he pitched 7 marvelous innings of 1 run, 5 hit, 5 K ball... hmm, reminds me of a song I wrote... uh, HEARD !!!!!!!!!
Appearing to tire in the 7th round, Bucchy finally allowed a run... with a GREAT block (and spiking) at home plate by VMart preventing a second tally by the Rays... who said this guy was mediocre as a backstop ?!?!?!
Pedey was the ultimate fighter winner.... (hmmmm, perhaps a new edition to my posts - I'll work on THAT). Anyway, Dustin blasted a big fly... to right field no less - that swing came from his toes!!! ... in the eighth round to knock (Rays starter) Matt Garza out (of the game)... and leading the Sox to a 3-1 victory !!!!
The final blow came in the night cap of the twin-bill as Jonny Lester's left "hook" (and fastball and slider !!!) proved to be too much as he knocked the Rays out of the playoff race for sure... There will be NO re-match with the Rays THIS year !!!!!!! ALTHOUGH, I experienced the thrill of a lifetime visiting the Fens for game 5 of the ALCS last year - the game in which our boys came from 7 runs down in the 7th to ultimately win the game and send the series back to Florida... OH WHAT A NIGHT !!!!!!!!!
Anyway, Lester pitched 8 innings of NO RUN, 2 HIT, 7 K ball yesterday, obviously reminding me of ANOTHER tune ... The more Jonny pounds the zone the more impressive he is.... ok, ok, ok... I owe Josh Beckett HIS own song... gimme some time !!!!
The bullpen has remembered THEIR role in this and have once again become dominant. Paps has listened and is showcasing the high cheese with plenty of moss. Billy Boy Wagner has been a great addition (so far) and even earned himself a closing opportunity in yesterday's 2nd game. Ut Oh Okie continues to prove me wrong and is 6-o with only an occasional hiccup (sorry, beer took over there !!!), but I'm still not sold....
BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT, 3 starters and a solid bullpen does NOT a championship make................. the starting rotation consists of a jury of 5 !!!! SOOOOOOOOOO, what gives for the boys from Boston ??????
Season's start figured Beckett, Lester, Dice-K, Wake and ????????? Brad Penny, I suppose... with John Smoltz trying to work his way into being a major contributor. That sounded good on paper but best laid plans.... Dice-K earned himself a trip to the Gulf Coast (league)... more in a bit... while Penny and Smoltzie earned 1 way tickets to the senior circuit.. uh, National League... both are performing well... obviously the American League is the superior league...
I honestly can't foresee winning a title with 3 regulars (the 1-2-3 punch) and 4th and 5th "alternates" - rotating the other 4 candidates - Dice-K, Wake, Byrd and Taz - based on health and/or performance.... not gonna happen.... WILL 2 PITCHERS PLEASE STEP UP TO THE PLATE ?!??!?!
Wake.... dude, you're a tribute to 43 year-olds with bad backs that drink beer (uh, Nuf Ced). I love what you've done for this franchise (INCLUDING bowing out of the World Series) and the community. You're one of my personal favorites.... BUT, please please please "Be careful out there" (uh, Hill Street Blues????)
Byrdman.... you know I luv ya Paulie.. you're a blue collar guy that (usually) gets the job done... I AM on your side so don't "F" me, k? I'm thinking you should be at least #5 so "JUST DO IT" !!!!!!!!!!!!
Taz Taz Taz (Junichi Tazawa).... you're not in Kansas anymore... or, the Japanese Industrial League, for that matter... Welcome to the BIG time, bro... I love your "stuff".... WHEN you've got it. I'm pulling for you even though very little has been said about your potential contributions down the stretch. Either way, I'm in your corner....
That leaves........... Dice-K.... no holds barred on my thoughts about the 100 million dollar man... eh......... TRUE he's a proven 18-20 game winner... 5 INNINGS AT A TIME !!!! Also true his last MINOR league outing was pretty successful.... uh, SINGLE A, mind you... how about the recent outing at Pawtucket when he was "experimenting" ???? NOT the time of the season to be experimenting, TITO AND THEO !!!!!!!!
Actually, each and every one of the above 4 is an experiment.... and I'm not necessarily looking forward to the results.... here's to praying that the potent offense can put a spin on Coach Belichick's words - Nuf Ced