Friday, August 01, 2003

Games 106 & 107 - Red Sox

Rangers 9, Red Sox 2
Rangers 7, Red Sox 3 (11)
Record: 63-44

Mumble. Grrr. Murmurrumbledammitwhatthe... Teams with championship aspirations simply can't afford to drop two of three to doormats, especially after winning the first game of the series, and even moreso when Pedro Martinez starts one of the losses.

Sox management has done its part, acquiring two solid bullpen arms in Scott Sauerbeck and Scott Williamson, and adding a legitimate inning-eater for the rotation in Jeff Suppan. The Sox got these players without impacting the major league roster, so the offense remains intact. And the Sox got these important parts without sacrificing any of their real blue chip prospects, with the possible exception of Freddy Sanchez.

It's time for the players to step up, too. The two losses to the Rangers were listless efforts - the kind of doldrums that winning teams quickly snap. Tonight's game in Baltimore is huge. The A's are gaining momentum, the Yankees swept Anaheim, and Seattle is still a strong squad. Put up or shut up time for the guys in the Sox clubhouse.

On a related and bizarre note, the Sox are now 10-9 in games started by Pedro. That's stunning. Martinez himself is 7-2 with a 2.42 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP and 10.05 K per 9 innings. It's not his fault. He's given up more than 3 earned runs in 3 of 19 starts. Sox fans used to chalk up Pedro starts as automatic Ws. Now, through no fault of Pedro's, that's in doubt.

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