Thursday, June 3, 2010

Observations from Fenway Park

So I got tickets for each of the last two Red Sox/Athletics game. It is pretty obvious why. Coco Crisp, the most underappreciated player in Red Sox history, now plays for Oakland. Well, #4 in your program, #1 in your hearts has been on the DL all season with the exception of two games in which he has hit .333 (2/6). So I was a little disappointed about his presence on the DL this week, especially after the same thing happened last year when he was on Kansas City. Anyway, I still got two pretty good, exciting Red Sox wins. And now I'm going to write about them.

-Dr. Number Two, also on the DL but unlike Crisp, for no apparent reason, should be charged with at least two more runs. In the last two games, we had three errors or miscues by outfielders. Bill Hall missed a fly ball Tuesday, Darnell McDonald did a bellyflop in center field that turned into a triple Tuesday, and Jeremy Hermida had a semi-routine liner go off his glove eventually leading to a run last night. Depending on where he's playing, two of the three should have been caught by a competent outfielder like 46. But 46 is chilling out on the bench with his injury that's going to stay with him all year.

-The official scorer was extremely generous in both games. Those three plays (McDonald didn't deserve an error), two errors by Kouzmanoff, and errant throws by Matsuzaka and Daric Barton were all not called errors.

-Adrian Beltre is what Wily Mo Pena was supposed to be. As we've discussed, he doesn't exactly play the most fundamental baseball, but you can tell that steroids or no steroids, he is a pure athlete. If you can crush a ball 425 off of one knee, it's pretty impressive. He's playing pretty well on the whole right now, and I'm a little bummed out he didn't crush any when I was there. Also looks like he's enjoying himself right now.

-Think about this: Dustin Pedroia is hitting .254, has a .776 OPS, and is on pace for more strikeouts at any time of his life while playing "G'd Up" by Snoop Dogg as his walkup music. He hit .296 with an .819 OPS with "Dre Day" by Dr. Dre as his walkup music. During my time working in the industry, I learned how much players care about the walkup music. But I think it's time to go back to Dre Day.

-Lackey looks extremely uncomfortable on the mound. This doesn't get its full due on televison. His line doesn't reflect how bad he was on Tuesday. He might be hurt. His posture sucks, he's grimacing all the time, and he moves around the infield similar to the way PF hobbled around the basketball court by the time he was a senior. I don't mean this as an insult, but it just looks painful and uncomfortable to watch.

-Matsuzaka's line won't reflect how good he was for most of that game. The first was pretty bad, as he hit the strike zone, then gave up the home run, then threw three straight balls (it was like, this guy's not gonna throw a strike again). But someone must have said something good in the dugout after that bad first, because he got it together and pitched one of his best performances in a long time.

-Going back to the hobbling department, long-time minor league manager Ron Johnson is now the first base coach. Poor guy can barely walk. When Victor Martinez hit the four doubles Tuesday, he had to limp out to second base to collect VMart's stuff each time.

-This has been the least-frustrating JD season thus far. There was a time last night where I was happy he was up. Guy actually seems to care. He's argued a few called third strikes. He engages in timely hitting. He's on pace for nearly 95 RBIs. When going after fly balls, he's running at about 80%.

-Rough series for former Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow. Guy got shelled in both outings. Tyson ("Rick") Ross and his funky short-arm delivery is interesting because of the weird release point and the fact that nobody knows where his pitches are going, but I have a feeling the A's bullpen might lose them a lot more games between now and the end of the season.

-Kouzmanoff's homer in the 9th was crushed. Ortiz was irresponsible with his use of vitamins and supplements. And while for a while I was a bit of a hater of the wave, I feel like it's harmless. The rise of the "Sweet Caroline" phenomenon and my acceptance of the wave are completely related. Roman Polanski might as well have written that song.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

DV

Didn't Beltre hit a laser into the Monster Seats on Tuesday?

Also, PF moved like that for four years either because of the pretty serious back injury he suffered in the fall of 2003 or because he was fat as a kid and never learned to walk differently (the latter is known as the Pat McGowan/Mike Rutherford theory and I believe led to Featherston being referred to as "the Bus" for a period of time in 2005).

As for baseball, everyone has to be feeling pretty good about the Red Sox right now. They've had a string of success lately against good teams and winning the first two against Oakland is a great thing. This weekend against the Orioles needs to find the Sox winning at least two of three and under no circumstances can they get swept like they did at the beginning of May.

That said, Lackey's next really stellar start will be his first. Same for Beckett when he comes back off the DL. If I had told you that Daisuke and Wakefield would both pitch at least eight inning gems long before Lackey or Beckett did, you'd have told me that Sox were going to be about 12 games under .500. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I know that Lackey, unless he's hurt, has to be better than he's been.

--the Gunn

TimC said...

Good to see Dice back on his one bad inning routine. He is, officially, the most perplexing Red Sox player of the 2010 season. But, similar to what you mentioned about JD, he does seem to care a tad bit more this season and I think he is positioning himself to have a great summer month or two. Given the struggles of Lackey and Beckett, I think he is officially up to #3 in the Red Sox Starting Pitcher Rankings.

Also, I refuse to take a potshot at the mobility of the self-declared Enforcer of Fairness. I will, however, refer to him as the Enforcer of Fairness until I get bored of it.

DV, did Fenway show the fans the call at first base at the end of the perfect game bid? Also, not sure if it is by design (as teams do occasionally play afternoon games before traveling) but good call to play today's game at 135 with the Celts (finally) going tonight.

Ross Kaplan said...

I have come to realize that my long absence from this blog might be noticeable so I thought I would give an explanation for my vanishing act. I am currently studying for the NY and NJ bar exams so you will only be seeing sporadically and for that I am sorry, but I will return with a vengeance come August.

In that same vein, I have a very important favor to ask of Mr. Tommy Gunn himself. That being to recommend some inspirational music along the lines of In the Air Tonight, Push it to the Limit, Going the Distance, Roll Tide, etc that I can use to inspire me to keep plugging away.

Anonymous said...

Ross

I am honored that you are making such a request (I'm dead serious by the way).

Here's what you need to know about music for the bar exam. Any song that you wouldn't be embarrassed to listen to with your windows down in heavy traffic is usually a go.

But based on what you've told me, it sounds like you're looking for songs in a particular genre and there are a few tunes that are particularly relevant: "No Easy Way Out" from the Rocky IV soundtrack, Tom Petty's "Running Down a Dream," The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" and if you're feeling particularly moody you can slap up the Soprano's theme by the Alabama 3.

And of course, Good Luck Ross.

--the Gunn

the gm said...

Gunn,

Yes, but it was not from one knee. I didn't think he hit it high enough and was surprised it got over the red line. I guess in my 5:22 AM memory it didn't get over the red line.

I didn't know about the perfect game shenanigans until I got home last night and turned on the television.

There are only two night games in the AL tonight. I did just watch Delcarmen get lit up though on Red Sox Encore.

I was not trying to take any shots at Pat's mobility. I mean, I did notice the strut/crip walk he did around campus, but it seemed like it got worse by the time his last season came around. I don't know as much about Gunn's and Tim's basketball work ethics, but I do know that Pat and Bandi got everything they could have out of their bodies. They both looked spent by the time they were done--just Pat to a higher extent.

Good luck Tankenstein.