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View Full Version : Random thoughts, whines, and ideas on what to do with our pitching


beausox
04-04-2002, 10:35 AM
First off, this is the on thing that kills me EVERY year about the Sox. We seem to be one of those teams that ends the game in the 7th. If we have the lead, we'd better hold it because we won't score many runs in hte 8th or 9th. The only game I can think of off-hand where we came back in the 9th inning was two years ago when Jeff Abbott hit a HR to win a game vs. the Twins. This team needs to put runs on the board late. If we had upped the score to 8-3 last nite, scoring two more runs late, we still MIGHT have won. Time for Mr. Ward to step up.

Next head call goes out to Nardi Conteras. Nardi its time to say good-bye. Personally, I though if you got fired by the Mariners you didn't deserve another job (back then they had a horrible bullpen). However, he did well up till now. But, the lack of progress with our young pitchers (outside of Buehrle), the rough spring training, and the woes of our bullpen early on, lend me to think its time for a change. If we wait to long, it could hurt us this year. I don't care who they hire next as long as its not Bevington or Miek Pazik!

Last thought, Keith Foulke. Keith is an all-star, a control pticher who is supposed to come into the game and shut the door. I have full confidence he will resume to do so. However, should Foulke continue to struggle for an extended period of time, it would be wise for the Sox to remove him from the closers role, let him build his arm up by working him in long relief and then give him a crack at the rotation. The fact that he lacks a third strong pitch gives me some doubts that he can be a successful starter, but I also thought way back, that his lacking an overpowering fastball would prevent him from being a strong closer, it hasn't. If Foulke is removed from teh clsoers role, Gary Glover should be next in line. I've come to the belief that Gary can do anything on that mound He's been successful as a starter, set-up man, long-relief, and I assume he would continue as a closer.

Soxboyrob
04-04-2002, 11:05 AM
You make a very fine point! The Sox lose their offensive edge once they get what they perceive to be a comfortable edge.

Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about:
Ray comes up to lead off the 8th inning last night and immediately gets a 2-0 count on two fairly wild pitches from Halama. Now, common sense would have Ray take the next pitch no matter what or at the very least, not swing unless the pitch is grooved. What happens? Halama throws a fastball neck high and Ray fouls it back and then swings at the next pitch and pops out on the infield. So Ray's saying to the fans and his teammates "the hell with getting on base...I came up here to hit and I'm gonna swing." It's little things like this that make me dislike Ray and want him gone and replaced by Harris, a guy who knows his strengths and limitations and uses them to help the team. Ray is either a selfish player or is too dumb to know any better. Regardless of which one he is, I don't like either.

cheeses_h_rice
04-04-2002, 11:36 AM
As the Sox went into the top of the 9th last night, I said "let's get some insurance runs" in the chat.

There's something about this team where they tend to play better when they're down rather than working with a big lead. And the Sox closers almost always put guys on when they're up by 2 or more runs, since psychologically they have room to maneuver. But as we all know too well, often times, those 2-run leads don't hold, and we usually lose those games or have to come back in extra frames to beat a team we should have put to bed half an hour before.

It's this lack of killer instinct that drove me nuts about 'em last year, and they're doing it all over again this year. I'm not panicking yet, as it has only been 3 games, but these are patterns I don't want to see the Sox get into again at all this year...

Procol Harum
04-04-2002, 12:07 PM
Glad I'm not the only one with these sorts of perceptions, re: tendency toward complacency, lack of late-inning comebacks, run-production.

One has to wonder how much this syndrome might wend its way back to the doorstep of Frank. As the dominant offensive presence on the team he has, for whatever reason, always tended to be much more effective in the first few innings--how many homers has he hit in his first at bat over the years?--and rarely ever has provided the big late-inning or extra-inning game-tying or game-ending hit.

Now I realize that this partially reflects the fact that the other teams' pitchers are being wary of him and not trying to give him anything good to hit. Still, when you compare him to a lot of big-time players, he seems to provide a lot less late-inning heroics. And has this tended to rub off on the rest of the squad? Does his penchant for quick starts shape the fact that the team as a whole seems to get into this do-it-in-the-first-
five-or-six-innings-or-forget-it pattern?

duke of dorwood
04-04-2002, 12:36 PM
We dont score late because of the manager. Moves that may bring an additional run here and there are never made . That includes pinch running for Konerko. You aint gonna see it with this manager, folks

Soxboyrob
04-04-2002, 01:49 PM
Originally posted by duke of dorwood
We dont score late because of the manager. Moves that may bring an additional run here and there are never made . That includes pinch running for Konerko. You aint gonna see it with this manager, folks

I've always wondered about this. With the depth of guys on our bench that can play first base, why don't we ever run for paulie and then put Lief out there at 1B? Or run for Alomar and replace him defensively w/ Johnson? Manuel appears to be a great personnel guy but has no tactical abilities whatsoever...either that or he's just stubborn.