Saturday, April 09, 2005

Disaster City

What a painful game. Everything went wrong- the defense was horrible, the command wasn’t there for the pitchers, and the umpiring wasn’t at a major league level. Some bright spots, including a nice pinch hit by Renteria, Nixon finally getting back on track, and a three-run jackaroo delivered courtesy of Big Papi. But, the bullpen let the team down in a big way:

Matt Mantei: Sucks. This is an outing he hopes to forget. Mantei faced four batters and gave up three singles, including the run to give the Jays a 6-5 lead. The big problem is this: his velocity is there, but he isn’t mixing his pitches up well enough. You could just see Catalanotto waiting for that fastball to rip for a hit. And when the NESN cameras showed him on the bench after the hook, it appeared he didn’t even care. Grade: D-

John Halama: Really sucks. Halama comes into the game after the Mantei disaster and doesn’t retire a batter. The first walk I don’t blame Halama for, Koskie had one of the best at-bats I’ve seen in a while. He just kept battling and battling, and you knew the walk was inevitable. Hillenbrand gets a crap single, then Halama loses all control of his brain and hits Hinske with the bases loaded on a 2-1 count. Absolutely no excuse for that. I learned something today: When you pick up a pitcher that was dumped by Tampa Bay, usually you shouldn’t have any expectations. Grade: F

Blaine Neal: Really, really sucks. I hope I never see this guy pitching for the Red Sox again. If Theo doesn’t release Neal by the end of the week, I’ll start eating gravel. Seriously, he may be the least effective pitcher I’ve ever seen grip a baseball. In the Yankee game I felt like riding to the Stadium and re-arranging his face, now he gives up a grand slam to Zaun on the straightest fastball ever. I swear I heard God say “What the hell kind of pitch was that?” Then Neal brings out that wince he’s perfected and starts rubbing the baseball forcefully. Get him off the team, NOW. Grade: F-

I will now light myself on fire.


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