Links 4-13-2010: Lester’s ok, slow games, running opponents, Ellsbury, Kelly debuts
April 13, 2010 1 Comment
Is Jon Lester a “slow starter”? Many are saying so, but I don’t buy it. Yes, the walks and the hits, but take a look at Minnesota’s spray chart from yesterday. I don’t think they hit him as hard as people are saying they did.
To me, it looks like a lot of short liners and bloops to left field and a couple of singles off of Lester. Those farthest two balls to right belong to Scott Atchison, not Lester. There was that grounder to Scutaro that took a bad hop, and a grounder deflected by Kevin Youkilis. I think Lester is doing just fine. Don’t believe the current ERA; his FIP is 3.54 this year.
Are Red Sox-Yankees games much slower than normal? Yes, and demonstrably so. But when you get two good offenses together, that’s just what happens, says Mike Fast.
For those who watched Denard Span run at will on Victor Martinez yesterday, it’s nothing new. Opponents have successfully swiped 12 bags in 13 attempts, and given Martinez’ track record (only 11% caught last year with Boston, 15% with Cleveland, and 24% caught in his career), it doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon. Sox pitchers will have to rely on a combination of pickoff throws and pitchouts, or we’ll never have a chance in this department. It is a problem, especially against run-happy managers like Joe Maddon and Mike Scioscia.
Jacoby Ellsbury is recovering just fine, and hopes to be back in the lineup tomorrow.
Casey Kelly made his Portland debut, pitching two innings. His stuff will translate up no problem, so I think it’s a matter of him fine-tuning his approach and mental game from here on out. If he can be consistent with his motion and approach, he’ll be very good when he gets here.
Alan Embree also felt good about his first outing, though he felt he wasn’t getting strikes called his way.
Darren at Sox Therapy wonders how Terry Francona could start Mike Lowell, Jeremy Hermida and Jason Varitek together against Zack Grienke. Since Grienke is a tough draw, you might argue that he was giving up the game before it began. But I don’t think it’s that complicated, to be honest. Francona does pay attention to platoon splits, but he wanted David Ortiz to be established as the regular DH in the first series against New York. That’s why he waited to start Lowell. Hermida is a lefty who was filling in for J.D. Drew, and Josh Beckett likes to throw to Tek. Maybe there was some psychology in there that we should rest our guys for a game we’re not likely to win, too. But it all worked out now, didn’t it? I suspect you’ll see Ortiz start to sit more against lefties starting this series.