Fever Pitch…ing

Amazing! Shocking! Flabbergast-ing?(if thats a word)

All three words could be used when describing the Red Sox off-season moves. 

The Red Sox have no doubt put themselves in position to climb back atop the AL East and they did it in aggressive fashion. Theo and Co. wasted no time targeting the people they wanted, and did whatever it took in getting them.  There was a definite need in this lineup for some pop once Martinez and Beltre left or were assumed gone.  In come Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.  I don’t have to get into what these two bring to the lineup, that is not my focus.

I really want to look at the pitching of this team, because believe it or not, that is what they needed the most!

In case you don’t believe me, here are some offensive stats for the Red Sox last season. In the true spirit of “the rivalry” I will include the Yankees stats as well.

Rankings reflect both AL and NL:

Batting avg.- Boston 7th  NY- 8th

Slugging% – Boston- 2nd  NY- 4th

On Base%- Boston- 4th  NY- 1st

Stolen Bases- Boston- 25th  NY- 12th

HR-  Boston- 2nd  NY-3rd

Runs- Boston- 2nd  NY- 1st

To recap, Boston’s offensive numbers were just as good and in a lot of cases better than the Yankees. Stolen bases will improve with a healthy Jacoby and even though Crawford can’t run against Varitek anymore he can still face Jorge’s squirt gun for an arm. When you think of the players that contributed to these statistics it is even more impressive, Darnell McDonald and  Ryan Kalish are the first two that come to mind. With the injuries throughout the lineup this team will no doubt be able to repeat and exceed last seasons numbers.

Pitching last season was not as great. Here are the rankings for how the Red Sox staff, yes the Yankees too.

ERA- Boston- 22nd  NY- 15th

Complete Games- Boston- 22nd  NY- 24th

WHIP- Boston- 16th  NY- 11th

Wins- Boston 10th  NY- 3rd

Opposing Batting Avg- Boston 17th  NY-12th

K/BB Ratio- Boston 22nd  NY- 16th

As you can see, and I realize you didn’t need these stats to know that, the Red Sox pitching staff was the problem last year. I love what the front office did with the bullpen. Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler have been closers and have pitched in big situations before. To help with the middle innings Boston acquired Matt Albers who was 1st among relievers that pitched more than one inning in a game. Albers will eat up middle innings and believe it or not he pitched some quality innings for the Orioles last season, yes I know that sounds like an oxymoron. I am praying that another lefty arm comes into the fold, one not named Lenny Dinardo. Sorry Lenny but the only thing cool about you is that we are kind of eskimo brothers, TRUE STORY.

With Beckett and Lackey into their 30’s a strong bullpen will no doubt help to keep them healthy, especially in the early part of the season. I full anticipate a strong comeback from both veterans.  The further development or Lester and Buchholz will be the key to this whole team. Big statement but no truer words have been spoken.  If Beckett and Lackey return to form and these two young pitchers improve on last season, this rotation will return to a top-tier unit. The fifth spot of the rotation will likely go to Dice-K by default by I would personally like to see FDub, yes that is his new name, start the season in the rotation this year.

Red Sox Nation seems to be back to full force and the expectations could not be higher in Boston. I am asking Santa for a lefty reliever for Christmas, what are you asking for?

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