For a brief moment, I thought the Sox would pull this one out. Dirt Bag pitched a pretty good game. Though, I think he was left in for one too many batters. That decision makes me wonder if Robin and Coop actually have control over Jake and will protect him from himself.
Honestly, I didn’t think the Sox would win tonight. Mainly because they were facing a guy who fits the classic bill of giving them fits. Additionally, the Sox have been oh, how to say this politely, TERRIBLE, against lefties of late.
In any event, the team actually did hold their own against Drew Smyly. he actually gave up two runs. Bacon had a good night at the dish as he was a triple short of hitting for the cycle.
Sadly it wasn’t enough as Matt Thornton served up the pitch for Peralta to send out of the yard. Though in reality, that is potentially the least of the issues the Sox are now facing.
As you probably know, Chris Sale has apparently been experiencing tenderness in his pitching elbow. According to Don Cooper during the pre-game show today, it had been going on long enough for the team to make the decision to pull Sale from the rotation and put him in the bullpen. Coop said that the move was more about Chris, his future and health as opposed to what was best for the team. If it was about the team, then I am guessing he stays in the rotation considering he has been the second best starter this season.
Now, he will be the closer (for the foreseeable future) and will be available on Monday. Change at closer was inevitable as Hector Santiago wasn’t impressive of late.
All of this happening has me wondering a ton of things right now. For one thing, how is pitching out of the bullpen as the closer going to help protect Chris? I realize that theoretically it is a lot fewer innings and that will protect his arm. However, I am concerned about the continued use per week (assuming the Sox are in numerous save situations for him to be utilized in.) Is there possibility that multiple outings as opposed to an every five day schedule will cause more problems.
Another thing: I didn’t think Chris was all that great in the closer role when he got the opportunity. I’m sure he can do the job but I just wonder given that all through spring he was being stretched out as a starter.
Finally, I am wondering what exactly Ken Williams is thinking of this move and what is really going on. So far, he isn’t talking. He deferred all questions to Robin about the situation. I understand wanting to have your manager talk and discuss things, but this is the kind of situation that seems that KW would be all over in making a statement about.
So many questions. So many answers I want. Maybe more will come out eventually but for now, I am going to watch this closely. For more on this, see this article by Scott Merkin.
Hopefully this doesn’t make things more difficult for the Sox. Chris’ Sunday start will be taken by Dylan Axelrod and we will see who will move into the rotation next.
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