I like Sweeps; sweeps, sweeps, sweeps: Of any team, not just the Yankees. But prefer it to be against the Yankees. What I saw this weekend? I saw pitching that should improve, especially the starters. Burnett and Beckett were both atrocious. Lester and Joba were decent, but very far from spectacular. The Red Sox bullpen, whether one wants to think so or not after this series, is actually still very strong. Saito has good stuff, and as Francona mentioned, his control is the issue. Hopefully that changes the more Saito takes the mound. Papelbon hasn’t looked “Papelbon-esque” lately, even though he is getting the job done. It would be nice if he could just throw the ball down the middle of the plate, making the batter have to beat him, when there is a five-run lead. But instead, he walked a couple guys. Papelbon has given up only one run in eight innings, however, does have five walks. But it may just be a sample size thing.
Awaiting for Masterson’s return to the pen: Masterson is best suited in the pen for now, unless the team needs him to start (as they do currently). He didn’t pitch poorly, necessarily. But his troubles with left handed hitters, well, they almost continued. He makes mistakes to lefties, as he got away with one of those to Matsui–as he just hooked a ball foul. Those “troubles” are no secret. And left-handed hitters will have success off of him the way he is pitching, if it continues. I think he can be a capable starter, but he isn’t Joba, and the team has plenty of starters right now, especially after Dice-K returns. Now, in the case where a pitcher goes down, Masterson is a good option to have to be a mainstay for the remainder of the season. But if everyone is healthy, Justin Masterson should be in the bullpen.
Run Differential: In the young season, there are currently five teams with run differentials of +30 of better: The Blue Jays, Red Sox, Cardinals, Pirates, Dodgers. As we are all beginning to realize, with time, is that run differential matters, a lot. Is it the only thing that matters? No. But it has a very strong correlation to a team’s actual strength. Now, maybe not so much over roughly 20 games, but definitely over the long haul. For example: The Pirates and Blue Jays will most likely start giving up as many runs as they score, if not more. And the Cardinals are going to be the team no one wants to discuss, because no one knows this teams true strength. But the Dodgers and Red Sox will definitely score more runs than they allow.
Value Wins: So Youk still sits atop the Value Wins category over at Fangraphs. With Kinsler falling in second, followed by; Longoria, Mike Cameron, and Pujols. This stat of course takes into acount, position, defensive contributions, and offensive contributions as well.
You know what rhymes with “Win?” Zimmermann: 2-0, 11.1 IP, 8K, 3BB, 12H. So far, Zimmerman has been a bright spot on a terrible team. He has given up some hits, but hitters aren’t killing the ball according to his LD%. His BABIP is a little high, which is good for him. But its only a two-game sample, need much more than that to draw any kind of conclusion. Still, promising news for an organization that hasn’t had much positive news, outside of Bowden being fired. And to be honest, with the job he was doing, that may be more positive than anything that could ever happen to this organization…ever 🙂