Red Sox Riding 40 Year Old DH and Knuckleballer to Early Success

 

Courtesy of Boston Globe

Courtesy of Boston Globe

ESPNOrtiz’s strong night overshadowed that of Steven Wright, who had another strong start in a season full of them. Wright tossed a complete game, allowed three hits and faced two batters more than the minimum in the win. The knuckleballer extended his streak of games in which he pitched at least six innings and allowed two or fewer runs to six. In the past 50 years, only Roger Clemens (1993, 1991) and Clay Buchholz (2013) have started seasons with at least six such games for the Red Sox.

Led by a 40 year old DH and a Knuckleballer, the 2016 Red Sox continue to defy expectations. Again, let me repeat that; David Ortiz, a guy who is 40 years old and in the final year of his career is crushing the ball with 9 HR’s so far (MVP type start) and Steven Wright, a former journeyman Knuckleball pitcher, who was slotted as your No. 5 starter, is throwing zeroes and is currently trailing only 3 pitchers in all of baseball in ERA. Not to mention, going the distance and throwing a complete game 3-hitter against your biggest rival on Sunday Night Baseball; you know the stuff Aces do.

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Meanwhile the $217 offseason acquisition has been bad more often than good with an ERA of 6.75. I fully expect David Price to pick it up, for no other reason than it would be a fall off of epic proportions to go from Cy Young contender to guy with an era in the 6’s. Boston does indeed take some getting used to, but I think a guy with his track record figures it out. Probably won’t be in the Cy voting this year, but reel off a few good starts and we’re back on track and the Sox become a dangerous team both with the bat and on the mound.

Right now sitting 1/2 game out of first, most people picked the Sox to be a mediocre team and likely miss the playoffs with the 98.5 Sports Hub guys even dubbing May 5th, “Cinco de Fire-o” for John Farrell. But the offense has been dominant as the Red Sox lead the AL in Runs, Hits, Doubles, Triples, RBIs, AVG, OBP, SLG, and OPS. So in other words – the best offense in the league. That has allowed the pitching to be very meh over the first 30 games.

Things will really get interesting when last year’s rookie stud Eduardo Rodriguez comes back from the DL and then again when Machine Gun Joe Kelly comes back. I think most people initially expected Wright to get the shaft once E-Rod came off the DL, but there is no way in hell John Farrell can yank Wright now. Not while he continues to carry the goddamn team.

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My vote would be for Buchholz to take his annual vacation on the DL. The guy weights 150 pounds, it’s prob for the best if he doesn’t make 32 starts. Give me 20-25 great starts and just be ready for the playoffs and we’re good. No need to force it and try to get more out of a guy when it’s just not coming. He’s been on the Sox for 9 years now, he is what he is. A decent middle of the rotation pitcher who can be lights out when everything is going his way. Put guys in a position to succeed, especially in a sport with athletes as coddled as baseball. And then when he asks for a $150 million dollar contract you politely tell him to kick rocks.

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