Game 73 - Phillies
Red Sox 3, Phils zip
Record: 42 and 31
Finally, something to carp about!
Sorry Whitney, I know you're in no mood to hear my whining high upon my lofty perch here in the NL Least. It's just that all this warm and fuzzy success crap is turning my brain to mush. I need a little dose of pain and suffering and by golly that young kid Lester served it up last night. No mas! No mas!
Look, I knew going into this game the odds were against us. This is a hard throwing lefty and the Phils are notorious for trying to hit 5 run home runs and that is precisely what happened. It's no mystery that this club will feast off mediocre and bad pitching and heaven help you if they get to your middle relief. John Lester is, from what I can tell, a tough and smart pitcher. He would have none of that middle relief crap. The kid labored the first few innings through some long at bats but he hung in there long enough to get this thing turned over to someone capable, not named Timlin. Sure enough, the Phils kept trying all game long to hit the 5 run homer even though they were down only 2 runs for much of the contest.
Much has been made about Ryan Howard's at first, dreadful and now peculiar season at the plate. I was reading yesterday that we shouldn't get too upset that he strikes out so much and that striking out is not measurably worse - statistically speaking - than any other type of out. Well, that may well be the case. I don't dare delve into the mundane world of sabermetrics where the fun in baseball goes to die a slow and hideous death. However, I think the argument pitting strikeouts vs. other types of outs is a bit askew. It's not that I mind the strikeouts, it's that they often come at the expense of walks. Charlie Manuel has said it - Ryan Howard gets himself out. He rarely sees good pitches. He needs to pick up some video of Barry Bonds from 2001 to 2005. He'd learn a thing or two about patience. I honestly believe he could approach the Bondsian pace of walks from that 2001 to 2005 era. Perhaps not in the high 100's but certainly he should be racking up 150. Howard is currently on a pace to walk 86 times. That seems awfully low. Conversely, Howard is on pace for a new record of 224 strikeouts. If he were to convert 64 of those strikeouts to walks...
...well who knows but he might just get a rally started or keep one going along the way instead of meekly walking away from home plate shaking his head. I could see Papelbon drooling in the 9th last night.
Anyway Rob, good win for the Sox. I naturally chose the Philly broadcast so as to avoid 1) Jerry Remy's annoying voice and 2) hearing any updates from the irrelevant NBA Finals.
Today features Masterson vs. Kendrick. The ball might be flying. 1PM start. To bad you know who couldn't make it to the Dub today. It could have been fun watching the end of this one at the bar.