The Competition Within the Starting Rotation

Friends, I have discovered something, and I feel the need to share it with you: The Boston Red Sox starting rotation is playing a game. 

cribbage.jpg
No, not cribbage, but Dustin Pedroia and Terry Francona play that almost everyday. Dustin always loses, and he doesn’t like losing; so I guess he takes it out on the field with his hits, diving plays, and sprawl/slides into first base.
The game that our starting rotation is playing is more of a competition: Who can screw up the most in one inning. Josh Beckett is in last place right now, he only gave up four runs in the fourth yesterday, and still came out with the lead. 
My sources have yet to get back to me, but I asked them if relinquishing the lead is in the rules. Apparently, Dice-K thought so. You all remember him giving up five runs in the first inning and relinquishing the lead. 
Brad Penny 2.jpg
Brad Penny is the winner oft his week’s edition of the game. He gave up seven runs in the second inning on Friday night. It looked pretty bleak after that, but the bottom of the second inning rekindled hope. Our offense has finally awakened. JD Drew and Jason Bay were definitely the highlights of that game. I mean, coming back from a 7-0 deficit? The last time we did that…
And our bullpen wasn’t half bad either, in fact, they were great! I love how Manny Delcarmen can go two or three innings, that is quite helpful. Ramon Ramirez picked up his first win, and Papelbon had a great ninth. Our poor bullpen has been working so hard lately. I think the game needs to end. Brad Penny is the winner. 
I was watching the Marlins game as well, and both games actually ended within seconds of each other. Both Papelbon and Lindstrom struck out their victims. 
The second game of the series, I was unable to watch. I actually went to the movies with my friends… yes… I went out during a baseball game. Crazy. Well, I wasn’t totally resourceless. I got periodic updates from my father on what was going on. 
Kevin Youkilis 3.jpg
Kevin Youkilis had a monster game, I think he’s going to change that third place to first place for the MVP. Or at least he wants to. The guy almost hit for the cycle, and hasn’t that been done three times already this year? That’s pretty cool. I heard that Kubes of the Twins did it, and also Orlando Hudson (fantasy team.. yay!!) and Ian Kinsler did it also. 
Once again, this game is evidence that our offense is finally waking up. But my biggest fear is Big Papi. 
I really am wondering what is up with him. My father and I have speculated that his timing is all off, and he’s just not the formidable hitter he was of say, 2004. I miss that fear that he would instill in pitchers when he would come up in the ninth inning with a tied score. I want that to come back. 
I think I may need to ask Emily about this one, because she is going into sports psychology. You all know what happened with Manny last season, and I don’t really want to talk about it. 
But I think that most of us could tell that Papi and Manny were pretty much best friends. They were a fearsome 3-4 combo, and they would kind of keep each other going. 
Manny seems to be a selfish person, he doesn’t care about us Red Sox fans… believe me, we loved him too! But Papi is a very caring person, and us Red Sox fans care about him! I think his hitting drought can be partially blamed on the absence of Manny Ramirez. 
Papi has even mentioned that he would like to have some more protection, and 30 HR type of guy… but this year our offense is catered more towards small ball (or at least I think so). I have decided to make some lineup changes… well one. 
1. Jacoby Ellsbury
2. Dustin Pedroia
3. JASON BAY 
4. Kevin Youkilis
5. JD Drew
6. Big Papi
7. Mike Lowell
8. Jason Varitek
9. NIck Green
I might try this because Jason Bay has been hitting really well lately, and I really like the Youkilis-Drew punch. If not, I would put Drew third, Youk fourth, Papi fifth, and keep Bay at sixth. I don’t really know though. 
The Red Sox game just started, and Jon Lester just struck out Brian Roberts. Jon, the competition between the rotation is over. 

14 Comments

Lester is looking great today! I am very concerned about Big Papi. He is not good – I don’t know if the problem is mental or physical. Today he just seems to have trouble seeing the ball. Whatever the problem is I hope it gets resolved soon.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I like this lineup. A lot of people are saying flip Youk and Papi, but I think putting J-Bay in the three spot right now is a great idea. He’s been on fire this season.
And where did Ramon Ramirez come from? :D
-A
http://catchingredsox.mlblogs.com

1) I just heard Brad Wilkerson retired. Did you get to see him this spring?
2) choosing Zac Efron over the Red Sox. Poor choice. Unless you want to see Matthew Perry from Friends. Not a terrible choice.
-Mark
http://philliesperspective.mlblogs.com

Lester was undefeated lifetime against the O’s. Today was no different. His effort helped me continue the Suvivor game on the MLBloggers group in the MLB.com fantasy section. Also, I love cribbage, Its a great and relaxing game.

Aaron
http://mlbtribefan.mlblogs.com

I like your lineup, Elizabeth. Why not move people around to see what works best? And I sympathize about your trip to the movies and your conflict about it. I spent the day at a friend’s birthday party today and had to miss the Yankees’ victory over the Indians. I was happy for my friend, but I kept wanting to check the score!

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

pirates look to be slumping in terms of our rotation. zach duke got shelled yesterday so our best era in baseball probably slipped a bit. it was nice to see lester get back on track. a great guy and i like to see him do well.

http://pittpeas.mlblogs.com

My grandmother tried once to teach me cribbage…it was surprisingly complicated. Sticking to baseball!

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Elizabeth- I like your line up, I’ve been impressed with Youkilis batting the clean up spot. As for Ortiz, well, unfortunately I don’t get Red Sox games. So, the best thing I can think of right now, is when he’s on deck, if he’s warming up with a weight on his bat, that’ll throw his timing off significantly. However, the only thing that I can really think of is that he’s just in a slump right now. It seems like he’s worked hard this off season and dropped some weight. His slump could be caused for any number of reasons since baseball is such a mental game. Hopefully a game will be broadcast out here, but that’s about all I can think of right now. Sorry I couldn’t help more!
Emily
http://deconstructingthoughts.mlblogs.com/

If Penny gets right and Dice-K gets healthy, man, that is some rotation — the best in the majors in my opinion.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Well, seems like there are a lot of interesting things going on with the Red Sox. I really hope Big Papi can get it going soon. I’m sure he will.
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

Don’t worry Elizabeth, if there is a sure-fire cure for anyone’s slump it is the Twins’ pitching staff. Big Papi in particular seems to love teeing off on his former team. He’ll probably be batting .300 by the time the series is over.-Erinhttp://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

1) Our pitchers played that game! Pavano won with Cliff Lee coming in a close second. Now they are playing a better game called “Who Can Improve the Most?” Pavano’s winning, again.
Reyes lost that one.
Love your lineup. I was watching the red Sox game and they showed the lineup with BA’s and Big Papi’s was the only one not in the .200′s. Weird. He’ll figure out though I’m sure.
Melissa
http://clemsongirlbaseball.mlblogs.com

I played crib when I was younger, but we used old matchsticks for pins. We played dominos a lot cool. Now, the only good thing associated with dominos is their meat pizza. Hope your game tonight is still on. I heard they are expecting *delays*. Eeek. Ashhttp://ashleymarshall.mlblogs.com

Wow, I thought Rockies pitching was the only one playing that game lately! If you thought Sox fans loved Manny you should see Dodger fans. More than a few times coming up to bat he got his own Manny Manny cheer his whole at-bat. Papi will find his stroke, all good hitters do, eventually.
Tom
http://rockymountainway.mlblogs.com

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