Thursday, June 29, 2006
Well, that was different.
I think most of us were hoping for, and certainly expecting, a much closer game than that. We all wanted the Sox to win, of course, but a 1-0 or 2-1 victory, with the runs scored off of the Mets bullpen or something, that was more in line with how this maybe should have been. As The Eck-- who I firmly believe should be considered an expert on everything in life from personal grooming to baseball and beyond-- said, it was kind of sad, seeing Pedro without any of his pitches working, and in a way disappointing that we didn't get that big dramatic game that had seemed so inevitable.
Instead, Pedro kept throwing what The Eck referred to as 'spin balls'. I'm not exactly sure what a 'spin ball' is. Presumably it's a ball with some spin on it, but not in any particular directed way. The distaste with which The Eck used the term made it sound like it was basically the junkiest ball you could throw that wasn't a spinless knuckleball.
Maybe Pedro's just gotten used to the National League, which we all know is a big soft league of big soft teams with big soft lineups. Maybe he was distracted by all the goings-on and the cheering and so on before the game and didn't get his usual routine in. I could much more easily believe that Pedro is the type of pitcher who gets thrown off by not doing his pregame routine in perfect obsessive order than the type of pitcher who allows sentimentality to take the bite off his fastball.
But I don't think that muffed double play, where Pedro looked at every base before confusedly throwing it to first for only a single out, was a sign that 'his mind wasn't in the game', as so many are saying. Once again I concur with The Eck on this. Ortiz was batting and they had the shift on. I'd be willing to bet that Pedro was simply confused about who was covering what base, with all his infielders shifted.
In any event, Beckett certainly stepped it up. The latest version of the Boston Baseball program you get at Fenway has a cover story titled "Josh vs. The World". All the hype about Pedro certainly seems to have acted in a similar fashion here. Beckett, for all his youth and rageful reputation, does seem to pitch better when he's got a bug up his ass. Kinda like Rodney Harrison in a way. Maybe we should have writers staked out all over the country, and whenever the Red Sox come to town they can write things that DISRESPECT Beckett. He might never lose again.
Oh, and speaking of Beckett's rageful reputation, I was talking about this with one of my friends the other night, after Posada and Farnsworth had had a bit of a Cold War on the mound in New York. Posada doesn't seem to be able to handle the high-strung, problem pitchers like Randy Johnson and Farnsworth. I'm not saying it would be easy to handle those guys; they've both got reputations.
But look at Beckett. He came in with a reputation for hot-headedness. Same with Tavarez. And look at how relatively docile they've both been with Tek behind the plate. And we've certainly never seen either of them, or indeed anyone, regularly try to shake Tek off, like pitchers do with Posada.
Man. Anyways. Can we just play the NL for the rest of the season? That would make everyone happy.
Oh, and I'd like to point out that my little brother has an article on the front page of the sports section of the local newspaper! Granted, it's the Swampscott Reporter, so no need to get too excited (they've printed several of my photos before), but still! They gave him a byline and all! I'm wicked proud, yo.
Labels: baseball, Mets, MLB, Pedro Martinez, Red Sox