Well, the long national nightmares are finally over. Yes, I said nightmares. Tim Wakefield, finally and mercifully, pocketed his 200th win on his eighth attempt, and the Red Sox thankfully ended their five game losing streak with tremendous offensive performances by Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury. Now that the Red Sox have chalked up a decision into the left hand column of the standings, can we please move on from the “collapse” nonsense? The Red Sox have a four game lead over the Rays, and play seven of their final 15 games against the Orioles. I don’t want to sound presumptious, but I really like our odds. Then again, I’ve grown out of the daily panic, “sky is falling” mentality that a certain Grantland editor who shall remain nameless still subscribes. Now that I think of it, Red Sox Nation desperately needs new spokesmen. Ben Affleck and Bill Simmons? (Oops!) Anyway, I’m rambling. That’s a story for another day. On with the links!
- Was Joe Torre the destroyer of bullpen arms? Moshe Mandel at the Yankee Analysts goes searching for details.
- Julian Levine of Giants Nirvana tries to answer the age old question: Is it time for the Giants and Barry Zito to part ways?
- Bill Petti of Beyond the Boxscore is doing a very interesting study of pitcher volatility. Here’s Part 1 and Part 2. This is required reading by the way.
- Ned Colletti thinks the Dodgers are close to contending. Clearly, that’s not the case, but Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness provides a rational take on Colletti’s comments.
- Somehow, someway the knuckleball never seems to die. (Thankfully!) Every time a veteran knucklballer winds down his career, another rises to prominence. As Rob Neyer of Baseball Nation notes, R.A. Dickey is the successor to the legacy Tim Wakefield’s been carrying for 20 years.
- Speaking of Wakefield, David Schoenfield over at ESPN‘s Sweet Spot recaps the career and legacy of baseball’s most recent 200 game winner.
- Over at IIATMS, Brien argues that saves are irrelevant. While this might seem like odd timing considering Mariano Rivera notched his 600th save last night, he argues that Rivera’s save totals don’t make him great. His ability to get batters out in the highest of pressure situations (read: not necessarily the ninth inning) makes him a great pitcher. I couldn’t agree more.
Those are all of the links that are fit to print for today. Here’s hoping the Red Sox can turn last night’s 18-6 victory into a two game winning streak.
Categories: Boston Red Sox