Thoughts on May and another win for Boston


Editor’s Note:  This post comes to you from Justin Klugh, our Philadelphia Phillies lead writer over at That Balls Outta Here. Brian Phair will be returning shortly.

May!  That spectacular month when it’s hot enough to be summer but not far enough along in the calendar to officially be able to say that, as my elderly neighbor was kind enough to inform this morning.

I nodded in agreement.  “You’ve been warned about staying on your side of the fence.”  I need to hire a watchful shepherd just to keep her on her property.

But May is more than just “not summer,” as in 2010, it has turned out to be “Red Sox Appreciation Month,” or much the more appropriate, “Holy Shit Its the Red Sox Month.”  MLB celebrated the notion by making Jon Lester (5-0 in May, unstoppable) and David Ortiz (.363 BA, 10 HR, 27 RBI, up from .143 and 21 SO in April, FUCK OFF that is hot) the respective AL Pitcher and Player of the month of May.  And, like a senile neighbor wandering onto your property, the Red Sox are back in the thick of it, having taken the Blue Jays out with the trash on this very night and moving up to third in the AL East. […]

Sadly for the rest of their division, the Red Sox cannot be dealt with via a broom stick and a call to the police.  If May becomes an all year trend for Boston, the teams on the higher rungs will have yet another dominant force opposing them.  And this time it may not even be an umpire.

Red Sox 6, Athletics 4

Just when you thought you could slip him out the back door for a consolation prize, Dice-K comes up with an impossible theory to remedy his own infinite ricochet between highly capable and disturbingly horrid:  Throw strikes.

"“After my last start, I was thinking that if I was going to give up all those walks, I might as well let them hit.”"

One of those theories that, had it failed, would have made him look like an idiot.  But, that’s baseball, I guess, and clearly it worked, because Dice-K led the Soxthrough their latest dismantling of the slowly sinking Oakland Athletics.

Dice-K didn’t take a no-hitter into the 8th, nor did he give up 20 walks in 2/3 of an inning or whatever the insane statistic for his last start against the Royals was (It was 8 BB in 4 2/3 innings–took me two seconds to look that up.  Not sure why I was skirting it).  He did strike out seven, but gave up ten hits and three runs.  The three runs came in the first inning.  Also, out of his 109 pitches, 84 were strikes. Also, he didn’t walk anybody.

So, what did we really learn tonight?  Dice-K can walk people at will.  Why he would ever choose to is insane.  Thus is the art/mystery of Boston’s starting rotation.  He hasn’t thrown over 70% of his pitches for strikes in two years.  And tonight he threw 77%, because he said he would.  This type of shift can only be best described through punctuation:  !!?!?!??!?

“We’re close to getting somebody up (in the bullpen); they you look up an hour later, and he’s sitting on a win,” said Terry Francona, who had taken to burying his face in a towel soaked with chloroform during the first inning.

David Ortiz has already taken a big bite out of June with a double and a two-run home run, scoring in the third courtesy of a Kevin Youkilis single off Ben Sheets.  And sure, other people had offense–I think Pedroia doubled, he’s always doing something–but who cares?  David Ortiz is a machine right now.  A tall, smiling machine who just wants people to never doubt him again, or face the terrifying consequences.

Sox On This

  • Meanwhile, one guy who is being kicked in the back on his way out the door is Mike Lowell, as he slams his fist on the desk, demanding more situations in which he can play.  “Oh, sure,” they reply, while simultaneously listening to messages the Mariners, White Sox, and Rangers have left on their voicemail.
  • Now, nobody freak out, but Ryan Kalish was going through his bag after arriving in Pawtucket yesterday and realized he hadn’t packed his offense.  Shit.  Though you can assume that his history will still speak for itself.  After all, joining forces with Josh Reddick and Lars Anderson with the PawSox is going to inevitably lead to something awesome, like the sky opening or the Earth will stop spinning.
  • Mike Cameron’s back!  I’d like to take this opportunity to celebrate to soo–Oh.  Josh Beckett’s being sidelined for 10 days.