Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Loose Change

Because yesterday's game was dreadful, and because I have some random thoughts, we'll go a bit more free form today. And by free, I mean I won't number the notes. Irons, you are cast off.

One emailer asked this very morn: Do we officially start worrying about Derek Lowe? Well, something tells me, regardless of my answer, you will officially start worrying anyway. As I have mentioned before, this is not new ground for Derek. After May of 2003, Lowe's ERA was 5.36, it presently is holding strong at 6.84. While they both fall solidly in category of "really bad", this year he is a full run and a half worse. How do we explain this greater decline? Quite simply, bad luck. Last season, opposing batters were hitting in the high .280's against Lowe at this time, which was alarming, but right now they're at .338. That is absurd. Sinkerballers pitch to contact. They want the opponent to swing at the first pitch they see and drive it into the ground. Because there are more gentlemen standing around the infield with mits than the outfield, this usually creates outs. But if those balls happen to find holes, batting averages go up. Not much Derek can do about that. He can get the ball to sink, but once a batter hits it, his job is basically finished. Right now, balls are finding holes to the tune of .338. His groundball to flyball ratio is lower than usual, which isn't a good sign, but for those who have been watching him, his main problem has been control and not getting the double play when he needs it. You can tinker with the former, but the latter is a question for the Gods. As it, mostly, Derek's poor performance so far. Mechanics are an issue, especially in the stretch, but you can bet Wallace & Co. are on top of that. All you can really do now, sadly, is pitch him and wait. Sooner or later, that luck will change. Sinkers will sink, games will be won.

You just knew Keith Foulke wouldn't get the loss this weekend. He might blow the save, but the game would be won. Thanks to The Dominator and Dave McCarty. But how quiet was Fenway when Ibanez hit that three run bomb? It's like we forgot that could happen.

Alright, where the heck is Ramiro Mendoza? I know most of you are just happy to see him gone, but he's stealing money. He's getting paid a lot of cash, and if he's hurt then I'm Serena Williams. Mendoza is hiding down in Florida, hoping we'll all forget why we boo him so much. But someone should call him on it, because this is ridiculous. He doesn't even have a diagnosable injury.

A list of people who have more RBI's than Kevin Millar: Alex Sanchez, Pokey Reese, Miguel Olivo, Enrique Wilson, Bill Hall, and Mark DeRosa. There are articles about how he hit a home run yesterday. Yippee. So if he can't hit, and leads the league in outfield dives that don't result in a catch, why doesn't Tito start Kapler?

Kevin Youkilis remind anyone of else of Wilton Veras? Third baseman who comes up as a bench player when a surprise roster spot opens up and plays pretty well. People wonder if he can do it everyday. Then, all of a sudden, his predecessor gets hurt (for Veras it was John Valentin), and fans get their answer. For Veras, it was decidedly not. A few weeks good, then a few months very very bad. Youk has given us the good, let's see if he can hold it up. Remember how easily things can change when teams see you once.

Nomar might be back in a week, but the sad reality is, we need Trot more.

Gammons floated the possibility of a Youkilis, Abe Alvarez, and Shoppach package for Carlos Beltran. That seems like a lot without confidence you can sign him. And what happens to Damon? Also, it makes Varitek a must sign, which Boras would sniff out in a second.

Bronson Arroyo vs. Bartolo Colon sure smacks of "disappointing stay up until 1am", doesn't it?