Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mr. Awesome: Offense-Based Hero

Make no mistake, the real hero of the night was Dahmer. Eight innings and one ER. I can safely and confidently say that he provided the best starting pitching performance of the season thus far from the Sox rotation. And believe me, that's not something I readily admit to. While one performance does not an ace make, perhaps I'm ready to give the kid a little bit of credit. We needed that, and he was fantastic. Absolutely no complaints from a pitching standpoint in this game. Even Rambo had a nice, clean, drama-free inning to close it out. He stepped up. Sure, it was only one inning, but we didn't have any other arms available. He knew it was going to him, and he delivered. We can't overlook stuff like that, you know. There will be days when we need a good performance, and he won't deliver, and we'll be angry with him... so keep stuff like this in mind. In a one run game when no one else was available, he sealed up the win. Fantastic work, Dahmer and Rambo. Talk about an unlikely duo to be thanking on a baseball blog...

I know a majority of the game was tied, but I honestly felt like we were going to win this one. Our pitching was just too sharp. I didn't know who it would be, exactly, playing the role of the hero, but I knew it would be us. The second inning was incredibly amusing to me. I think Papi was 3-1, and Marcum had only thrown 26 pitches in the game. My logic dictates that if our pitchers are throwing less than 15 pitches per inning, that's fine. If the opposing pitcher is throwing less than 15 pitches per inning, that is not fine. I very nicely asked Papi to take at least five more pitches. Well, he took exactly five more pitches and added the extra bonus of getting on base. So, I tried again with Beltre. I asked for just a little tiny base hit. He obliged. I figured I would try again with Wolverine. Before I could figure out what I wanted from him, he was 0-2. I asked for four more pitches and a base hit. That's what I got (and I have witnesses proving that I actually did ask for these things). Sure enough, Papi came 'round to score and the game was tied. Sometimes, a 'please' takes you a long way. Most times it doesn't, but I'm glad it worked in the second inning of last night's game.

Let's see. Who else did a good job? Oh! Forgot to mention about Mikey's heroics. Let me start by saying the fact that Tito felt the need to pull Papi from the game made me sad, but ultimately I believe it was the right decision. Bases loaded, 2 outs in the eighth, Toronto brings in their closer. Maybe I missed a pitch, but I'm pretty sure he walked Mr. Awesome on four straight balls, bringing the winning run home. Isn't this the second game we've won with a bases-loaded walk? There had to have been another one. As usual, I don't care how it gets done, I'm just glad it got done.

This win brings us back up to .500 for the first time in seemingly forever. That's a good thing! It also provided us with a quick, relatively painless win that didn't embarrass and abuse our entire pitching staff. Two pitchers, only 128 pitches. Sure, Dahmer allowed 7 hits, but it's ok because he didn't panic about that. His lack of panic was more reassuring that anything. Gives me a little hope.

Yesterday, the Red Sox brought up Fabio Castro as a bullpen backup plan. All of our arms were tired. BOP was unavailable to pitch, and Atchinson had pitched quite a bit in the past few days, so they swapped Atchinson for Castro. And for a brief moment in time, Dustin Pedroia was not the shortest man on the team! They interviewed Scutaro in the pre-game, and he discussed being the judge of the contest with a laugh. The joy for Munchkin was short-lived, however, as after the game the Sox optioned Castro back to Pawtucket to make room for Alan Embree. Alan wanted to back in the big leagues by Friday, and the Sox obviously wanted to keep him. He seemed to be doing pretty good in Pawtucket, so hopefully his minor-league success will translate to being able to help out this taxed bullpen. Either way, welcome back to the big leagues, Alan.

And in my last bit o'info for the day... congratulations to the Celtics in advancing to the second round of the playoffs. I think they're on schedule to face the Cavs in the next round. If they do, that should be an interesting series. Guess we'll have to wait and see!

No comments: