I hate Eric Gagne. It is really that simple...he eats. I know I said that I thought the Red Sox would win the ALCS in 6 games but oh it BURNS to watch the Sox lose a winnable game like the Saturday night debacle.
I am not criticizing Tito for going with Gagne in the 11th like he did, he really didn't have much of a choice at that point and even if he loaded the bases in game one he still got out of the jam. Here is my issue thought. You cannot trust Gagne in any situation even if it's 10-3 he still almost made it interesting. Gagne was the best choice we had at that point, but that is the problem. You can't feel good about the Red Sox bullpen after Papelbon. MDC, Okie and Timlin have been getting it done but Gagne and Lopez, yikes.
Also Lester has two career relief appearances so he's not a great option. It comes down to this the offense has to stop stranding runners and guys like Tek, Coco and Lugo have to start coming up with hits. Manny, Papi and Lowell can only do so much. I hate the fact that Gagne is even on the playoff roster. Tito is all about sticking with his guys and I think he does a great job in the long term but sometimes his short-term moves are questionable.
In this case I think the decision to stick with Gagne was a poor one, maybe he'll prove me wrong but does anyone have any faith in this guy at this point? When he runs out of the bullpen shouldn't Johnny Cash's version of 'Hurt' (I will let you down. I will make you hurt) be booming on the PA system? He's that depressing, it makes me want to re-enact that scene from Royal Tennenbaums when Richie shaves his beard then goes train tracks on his arms.
Like I said I'm not second-guessing Tito for going to Gagne but I am second-guessing having him on the playoff roster. I really think it would have been more effective to have Brian Corey, Tavarez (he's solid the first time through the lineup) or Clay Buchholz. I would be infinitely more confident in anyone of those guys. Of course you probably wouldn't be going to Buchholz in the 11th but I could see Corey or Tavarez coming in and in my opinion we should be. What to do with Gagne? Most people I've talked to wouldn't mind repeatedly kicking him in the nuts but in my opinion should he be tarred and feathered outside the Cask n Flagon.
Hey Joe and Tim the Sox aren't starting Beckett on three days rest, so please, for my sanity, shut the fuck up...Why do they keep talking about this. At some point Ken Rosenthal is going to pick up a bat and march into the broadcast booth. Really, Tito vehemently said that Tim Wakefield was starting game four. They are not going to bring Beckett back on three days rest, even if it might seem like a more desirable situation.
All I know is the bats need to come through in game three or it is going to be a Rockies-Indians World Series. I love Mike Lowell but I could really go for a Bill Mueller at-bat right now...lets see if my faith in JD gets rewarded...nope...a game two loss looms ever larger now that we couldn't beat Jake Westbrook. If Tim Wakefield were ever going to pitch a career game, tomorrow would be a good time.
To tell you the truth I actually have faith in Wake. He's been hurt and that’s not good but if he is on he can be really, really tough on hitters. If he can avoid that one inning where he just loses it we'll be in good shape. Game four is pretty much a win-at-all-costs game you don't want to go down three games to one to the Indians with Sabathia being the guy you have to face in an elimination game. Even if the Sox and Yankees did knock him around he's still tough and I feel like there is a better chance he'll pitch well then not well. Then again the Sox could be throwing Beckett, but I'd still feel a lot better going into game five tied at 2-2 then down 3-1. Yeah thanks captain obvious.
My superstitions are starting to get the best of me they aren’t what they were in 2004 or 2001 for that matter. Back then I was knocking on wood so frequently that I couldn’t hold a pencil in school the day after the Super Bowl but we are getting there. I have worn the same jeans t-shirt, hat and jersey to watch all three games and tonight for good measure I broke out the ‘04 shirt for a little extra mojo. Unfortunately it’s not working.
Don’t be alarmed though I still have a few aces up my sleeves for the remaining games. I’m pulling out all the stops tomorrow and bringing in the big guns…a.k.a. Petunia (yeah she’s a dashboard hula girl but she’s lucky)…God, the girlfriend is going to hate me by the time the playoffs are over.