Another sweep of the Yankees is sweet

The Red Sox completed another sweep of the Yankees last night, this time at home, and are now 8-0 against the Bronx Bombers this season. This series had everything, from Josh Beckett’s domination to a great late comeback rally against CC Sabathia. Man, it’s great to be a Red Sox fan right now, isn’t it? We’re sitting atop the AL East, our starting pitching is really coming together, and even Big Papi is starting to hit HRs again.

More than one person has already noted that David Ortiz homering to the opposite field is a very good sign. I’m cautiously optimistic at this stage, considering only two of his three blasts on this homestand would be home runs in most other Major League parks. He did hit these last two significantly harder than the first two, so there’s definitely some hope.

Don’t be a Penny pincher

Brad Penny can be traded after June 15th, and his value is peaking at the right time. John Smoltz must be activated by June 19th, or he can opt out of his deal with the Sox; this is by design. It is going to happen, let it go, people. Don’t even bring up the bullpen. I know there are a lot of you who are fed up with Daisuke Matsuzaka right now and want to see him out of the rotation, but I’m telling you, giving up on him at this point makes little sense, unless he’s injured (in which case he should promptly hit the DL). He has a no-trade clause, and would look on any attempt to move him as an insult, anyway. Considering how long he’s signed, I wouldn’t risk it. If he were pitching like Chien-Ming Wang, on the other hand…

It just figures that just as we are planning to trade Penny away, he stifles the mighty Yankee offense and touches 97 mph on the gun. He is looking mighty good right now, and that is why we will get something pretty good in return for him. This is the right move, the last few starts notwithstanding. Baseball is about the long term, not what you’ve seen in just the last 20 innings from a guy. Matsuzaka has compiled a 34-19 record and a 3.97 ERA for us so far (worth about 7.5 wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs) – what exactly do you not like about that? Even if Matsuzaka can’t turn it around, what’s the worst that can happen? Clay Buchholz. That’s a pretty good Plan B.

For those of you who would rather get rid of Tim Wakefield from the rotation (shame on you!) consider this: at least by one sabermetric measure, Wake has the best (most effective) fastball in the Majors in 2009.


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