I’ll be the first to admit that the Sox second straight walkoff win, paired with the most exciting hockey game I have seen since the Olympics, was really really fun. This mini-streak, however, is not enough to distract me from the fact that this team is still looking kind of shaky. Tuesday’s Darnell McDonald fueled win did a lot to make me feel better and allowed me to wonder how they (and the Bruins) were going to win, not how they were going to fall apart.
That said, there is a lot to question with how this team is playing. The starters all, except Buchholz, have ERAs above five and a quarter, and Buchholz has given up five unearned in his 10 innings. There have been flashes of brilliance, but nothing as to what we were lead to believe we were going to see this spring. The bullpen hasn’t been sterling either. Bard, Papelbon and Okajima were on point last night, giving up one hit in five innings of work, including two each from Paps and Bard, but beyond them, nobody has really been all that reliable. They all have that Rudy Seanez vibe to them, and with the offense not exactly lighting things up, they will have far less room for suckitude.
The defense, which was supposed to be dazzling and save mad runs for the team, is now tied for 13th in the majors in both fielding percentage (.983) and errors (10 in 15 games). Guys that were brought in specifically for their defense, like Scutaro, Cameron and Beltre, all have errors, and Scutaro has been, in the short sample, another continuation of the curse of Nomar. Just so everyone knows, Alex Gonzalez is hitting .284 with five home runs in Toronto, while still playing his customary gorgeous defense. Ask Buchholz how much he misses that.
There are still no guarantees about the offense either. While scoring 15 runs in the past two nights is definitely a big upgrade over what we saw this weekend, J.D. Drew (who responded to my heckling from the stands on Tuesday by coming up big last night), David Ortiz, Mike Cameron and Bill Hall all have sucked, and Pedroia is the only guy on the team who is hitting over .300 (.306). The lone truly bright spots have been Youk’s .358 OBP and .840 OPS (which make his .250 average look much better) and the fact that Darnell is 3-5 with two bombs, four RBI and is slugging 1.800.
Enjoy the past two nights, root for Buck to get some defense and give us a quality start, and have faith. Remember that there is still a lot of work to be done, 147 games to be played, and one first baseman to be pried away from the Padres. Sox play at 7:10 and the NFL draft starts at 7:30 (more on that from SMC later).