The 6 Man Rotation: A Good Idea

The Boston Red Sox are in a very interesting situation right now. They have six (well, actually eight) starting pitchers all who should be pitching in the majors. Yet, no staff in baseball uses a six-man rotation; everyone uses five. There is the solution.

Look at the pitchers they have right now:

Josh Beckett – He is 7-3 with a 4.15 ERA and has 81 strikeouts in 82.1 innings. That doesn’t sound great, but then remember that since the beginning of May, he is 5-1 with a 2.52 ERA. Beckett started slowly, but has gone at least six innings in every outing in the last two months and is back to his dominant form.

Jon Lester – Lester is 5-5 with a 4.76 ERA. Like Beckett though, he is finding his form as he given up just 3 runs in his last 22 innings pitched and has a mind-boggling 34 strikeouts during that span.

Tim Wakefield – Maybe the Red Sox most consistent pitcher so far this season, Wakefield is second in the league in with 9 wins and possesses a 4.39 ERA. He’s tied with Beckett for the team-lead with 9 quality starts (tied for 9th in the American League) Continue reading “The 6 Man Rotation: A Good Idea”

Wakefield Steps Up

The Boston Red Sox are off to one of their worst starts in years at 3-6. Coming in to today, that record was 2-6 and they were at risk of being swept by the Oakland Athletics. Last night, Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up five runs in his one inning of work before leaving the game with arm fatigue (he’s now on the DL), forcing the bullpen to enter the game very early. On top of that, the game went twelve innings so the Boston bullpen had to pitch 11 innings. Oh, and they lost.

Now, more than ever, the Red Sox needed a strong, deep start from Tim Wakefield. They got more than they could possibly imagine.

Wake pitched a complete game, four-hitter giving up two earned runs, but he also took a no-hitter into the 8th inning. The Sox led the game 2-0 most of the way, before opening up the score in the top of the 8th and eventually winning 8-2. So desperately in need of a win, anything to boost the team’s confidence, that Wake’s performance could be a turning point in the year.

Reporters, coaches, and players all reiterate that a poor start to the season doesn’t mean the team will struggle all season. Yes, it is only seven games, but those seven games are what set your team up, present it with confidence to win or the doubt causing teams to lose. Continue reading “Wakefield Steps Up”

Vote Okajima!

As fans vote for the final spot on the 2007 All Star teams, Hideki Okajima of the Boston Red Sox deserves to go. Yes, I am biased, because I am a Red Sox fan, but just look at the stats and you will realize I am right. It is hard to compare relief pitchers to starting pitchers so I will begin by looking at Okajima in comparison with the other relief pitcher on the ballot, Pat Neshek. Neshek has one more win the Okajima, but Okajima’s ERA is nearly 50 points better than Neshek. Both have one blown save, but Okajima has four saves while Neshek has none. Neshek has also allowed four home runs to just 1 by Okajima. Though Neshek has more strikeouts the Okajima, their strikeout-to-walk ratio are very similar. For a relief pitcher that is not a closer, the most crucial category is Holds in which Okajima comes out on top 13-8. I can continue with their stats, but in nearly everyone they are the same. The only difference between them is the ERA, making Okajima the better selection. Continue reading “Vote Okajima!”