Links 4-22-2010: Sox walk-off again, Scutaro’s gamble, Lowell and Ortiz
April 22, 2010 2 Comments
Last night’s game was another thriller, and resulted in a second straight walk-off victory for the Red Sox. I still can’t believe Ron Washington’s decision to walk Dustin Pedroia in order to face Kevin Youkilis. That’s another example of typical baseball thinking; Pedroia is “hot” and he’s had success in his career against Dustin Nippert, while Youk was 0-4 against him and currently sports the lower batting average. The truth is, Youkilis is a more dangerous hitter, plain and simple. Unless he’s injured or something, you should rather pitch to Pedey. And Texas found that out last night.
Anybody else’s heart stop when Marco Scutaro tagged up from first base last night in the 12th inning? From the throw it didn’t look like he was going to make it. That’s a big gamble to take for a guy who’s not won over the fans yet, not being the strong fielder at shortstop everyone was expecting thus far. Thank God it turned out okay, but I wouldn’t recommend that again.
Mike Lowell’s success in the DH role last night (2-4 with a HR, a walk and 2 RBI) makes for a very interesting situation: how does Terry Francona handle David Ortiz from here on out? For now, it looks like he’ll stick with Lowell with another lefty, C.J. Wilson, going for Texas tonight. Bravo. I’m not a proponent of giving up on Papi yet, but I’d like him to sit against LHP until he sorts things out.
And congratulations to Darnell McDonald for homering in your second straight game! That officially doubles his HR total for his career in two days. Whoa. Whatever he’s been doing, he should keep doing it (unless it’s PEDs).
All of these late-inning comebacks make for exciting baseball, but it’s really putting a strain on our bullpen. I’m getting concerned about Daniel Bard, who pitched two innings last night and has already appeared in 8 games, pitching 10 innings. That’s why it’s critical for Ramon Ramirez to get it together as a viable late-inning option. Despite some good numbers in a small sample, I don’t think Manny Delcarmen is the answer, not from what I’m seeing. His velocity is creeping back up, but he can’t locate. Hideki Okajima came in and had both his fastball and splitter working last night, and you could see how that makes him a great reliever. The splitter is right on the corner at the knees, then it drops out of the zone at the last minute.