Thursday, April 10, 2003

Game 9 - Red Sox

Blue Jays 10, Red Sox 5
Record: 5-4 Phew - that took a lot of effort, but I kept reminding myself that the season is only 9 games young. Nonetheless, this makes 6 mediocre starts by the Sox pitching staff, with another subpar bullpen effort stacked on top for nice effect. There are some unfortunate similarities at this early juncture to the 1979 team, which knocked the cover off of the ball all season long with nothing really to show for it at the end of the season. Casey Fossum sailed through 4 innings of 1-run ball, and should have made it through the 5th unscathed, but a questionable ball on a two-out 0-2 count to Chris Woodward spelled his doom. 15 minutes later, Ramiro Mendoza came in to give up a grand slam to Vernon Wells, and the rout was on.

Fossum's an interesting question. Some believe he's Ron Guidry reincarnated, his slim build and lefthanded gas eerily reminiscent of the Yankee comet who burned through the league for a short while in the 70s. Others think he's destined to be a solid arm out of the bullpen, but lacks the stamina and third pitch necessary to excel as a starter. Early in this season, the stamina question is the most significant. He's struck out 14 batters in his two starts, but only made it through a total of 9 2/3 innings. I'll give him 4 or 5 more starts before I really start to worry, but the Fossum Question ranks up there with the Bullpen Experiment on the list of Really Important Issues for the 2003 season.

John Burkett tries to avoid a sweep against stud righthander Roy Halladay tonight. Being swept by the Blue Jays would be an unpleasant way to end the season's first road trip, and put yours truly in a seriously foul mood entering the weekend.

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