Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pitching Coming Up

Fenway is still a hitter's park, though less than it was before the structural changes. Successful Red Sox teams of the past have scored the first or second most runs in the American League. Pitching that is slightly better than the league average is quite good if you are pitching half your games at Fenway. As of this moment, the Sox are one of a half-dozen teams near the top of runs scored, and doing pretty well in runs against. This suggests they need more hitting. When you consider what the top of the lineup is doing, it is clear that Ortiz is hurting them badly, and the catching position is a brake on the carriage as well.

The trouble is, they don't have that much hitting coming up from the minors. It's OK, but not championship. What they do have is pitching - which is what they don't especially need - at Pawtucket. Lots and lots of it. Scroll down to pitching and click on the ERA column on the Pawsox individual stats. Player after player under 2.00 ERA, lots of 'em young and improving. Plus Charlie Zink, who will never have a great ERA because he's a knuckleballer, but can eat innings and still has a chance to be another Tim Wakefield.

I hate to trade good young pitching, but watch for that to happen.

Basketball update. Though the games have been close, it's worth noting that if Lebron doesn't make that shot at the end of Game 2, then Orlando just swept the series. And as the timekeeper didn't start the clock until well after (by last-second NBA standards) James touched it, maybe it shouldn't have counted. Generally, you need 1.4 seconds to get off a jumper. But I guess you have to give the benefit to the shooter in those situations.

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