Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What a Relief!

It almost turned out to be a very disappointing night indeed for Boston sports fans. But then, Carl Crawford remembered he had a hitting streak on the line, and Jose Iglesias decided to show that he can RUN. On top of his speed, he's being called baseball's best defensive prospect, which sounds awfully nice given our string of errors at shortstop. But, there's question's about his offensive potential....

Crawford's game winning hit came against right-handed relief pitcher Jim Hoey, who entered the game with a 5.40 ERA and left with a 6.75 ERA. Meanwhile, Minnesota had a much better righty warmed up and sitting on the bench. Why didn't they use him? Because Matt Capps is the closer. And the role of closers is to save games.

Having suffered through multiple stretches of watching Boston put together a "closer by committee," I understand the comfort in knowing who is going to be pitching your team's last three outs, should they get ahead. But the 11th inning that is happening right now is a whole lot important than some future inning that may or may not occur. Their closer should have been in the game, giving their hitters a chance to get to the 12th inning.

Of course, I still think Crawford would have come through!

1 comment:

  1. Testify on the absurdity of the "close" stat. Ironically, Tito did the right thing for his team in this game by bringing in Paps in the 8th to get out of a jam. Didn't work out for him, but given how unreliable the rest of our relief is, it was the right move to make as we struggle towards .500. Although I have to say, while Okajima gave me fuel for doubt, you can't argue with the results of his Dice-K like escape efforts: "[He ]pitched two innings and threw 43 pitches. He escaped a 1st/2nd, one out jam in both the 10th and 11th - and a 2nd/3rd, 2 out jam later in the 11th." From JoS: