Blame Canada

Blame Canada!
It seems like everything’s gone wrong since Canada came along
Blame Canada, Blame Canada!
They’re not even a real country anyway…

Two questions: One, why doesn’t Gagne throw anything but his fastball over and over and over again? Is this Varitek’s idea or is he routinely shaking off the catcher? I realize that maybe he’s having trouble finding the strike-zone with his curve/change right now, but the only way that’s going to get any better is if he keeps trying it anyway. And they’re still strong enough offerings that you’d think he could get guys to chase, if they’re anywhere close. Plus I would generally prefer walks to line-drives…

Two, and this is one that people might actually be able to answer. Has a trade as heavily lauded as the Gagne deal ever backfired this badly before? This is at least two, possibly three games the guy has lost almost entirely by himself; no Gagne, and there’s a chance Boston still holds a 6-7 game division lead.

I’m not talking about times where the prospects eventually turned into something, or where the centerpiece went down via injury and never really had a chance to contribute. Or deals like the Mets’ swapping Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano, which looked like a bad idea from the start. I’m talking trades like this one, where everyone in the sports universe seemed to think, "Oh look, what a good deal for the Sox," only to have the main piece fall apart for no apparent reason.

I do still think Gagne turns it around at some point…or at least, I hold out a little bit of hope. He’s supposedly healthy, after all. But "some point" better come pretty damn quick, because Tito is going to keep running him out there until it does, and Boston can’t afford too many more of these soul-crushing late-inning losses.

Oh, and a nice debut from Buchholz. That was cool. Looked real nervous in the beginning, and he never seemed to have full command of his curve or slider, but it was a good start. And that changeup was just nasty.

14 comments… add one
  • It’s just plain frustrating. I feel for the guy but I feel for the entire rest of the team more- they worked their butts off to get that lead. All he needed to do was get 3 lousy outs and redeem himself and save the game. It’s insufferable watching him fail week after week.

    no sleep til brooklyn SF August 18, 2007, 1:12 am
  • “Has a trade as heavily lauded as the Gagne deal ever backfired this badly before?”
    Yes, and his name is Jeff Weaver. And Javier Vasquez, Randy Johnson,…

    Lex August 18, 2007, 1:51 am
  • I guess I was thinking more along the lines of midseason, playoff-push acquisitions. Weaver’s a good one, though.

    Josh SF (D1) August 18, 2007, 1:56 am
  • Ugh, Weaver.
    He WAS a midseason trade, though. And he actually didn’t perform half-badly down the stretch for them, going 5-3 and pitching to a tune of 4.04 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. Looking at his gamelogs, he was pretty horrendous in his first couple of starts for the Yankees, but those were balanced out by some dominating performances in the end. Those didn’t really matter though, the 2002 Yankees being a 103-win team.
    Jeff Weaver is awful. And yet, Seattle still seems to be able to squeeze something out of him. Damn you, Weaver.

    AndrewYF August 18, 2007, 2:41 am
  • They must have better pot in Seattle than in New York.

    no sleep til brooklyn SF August 18, 2007, 3:01 am
  • In the first game, after the Sox bumped the lead to four, why didn’t Tito pull Paps for Delcarmen or Timlin? Or, why didn’t he pull him with the three run lead? Why did he come out for another inning of work (after just two pitches in the eighth)? Was Paps still not available in the nightcap, regardless, due to warming in the first (I highly doubt it – had Paps not been needed in the first but had been warmed up, I imagine he’d have been available in the second, those two pitches can’t be the difference between available and not-available).
    Not that Gagne shouldn’t do his job, and not that Tito should be beyond gunshy (though maybe now he should be), but what was Tito’s justification for running Papelbon back out there with a four run lead and another game on the docket?
    It’s hard to blame Francona for Gagne’s implosion (in fact, totally unfair to do so), but Tito’s job is to risk manage, and with Gagne these last couple of outings he hasn’t done it well.

    SF August 18, 2007, 6:04 am
  • welcome back sf…
    i honestly think tito’s hands were tied with the bullpen and a double-header…probably one of the reasons we don’t see planned double-dips anymore i suppose…it’s true that he should have had more faith in one of the other guys to hold a 4 run lead, and he may be overly protective of pap, but i don’t think they can afford to give up on gagne so quickly…if he comes through, the sox look scary and smart…turns out he didn’t, but that doesn’t change the strategy for the 1st game…let’s say tito takes pap out of game 1 to save him for the 2nd game, but the angels come back on timlin [or gagne], and then the angels have a late inning lead on the sox in game 2, so no “pap factor”, we’d be picking at tito for not having pap close out game 1…kind of a “bird in the hand” decision…

    dc August 18, 2007, 7:56 am
  • I am half out of my mind with our manager right now. Does the building have to fall on him to make him realize that Gagne’s NOT THE ONE right now! I almost threw up when i saw him in for the 9th last night! Are you telling me Pap’s couldn’t pitch again…he hardly broke a sweat in the first game! That is now three games that have been ripped from us after comebacks…backbreakers and confidence killers. This is crunch time…throw everybody you can except the new guy. For some reason he isn’t ready for this.

    Steve S. August 18, 2007, 8:01 am
  • The answer is obvious if you listen to Tito’s mantra – he doesn’t want Gagne to think that he has lost confidence in him.
    Of course, how Gagne could have any confidence after being personally responsible for the division lead being almost cut in half is a mystery. The question to me is how long will Tito keep using him in critical situations?

    Tom sf August 18, 2007, 11:37 am
  • Definitely wish Paps had been saved for the 2nd game. Hindsight is 20-20, but still… Paps doesn’t need to be wasted with 4-run leads, even if it means pulling him out and not giving him the save.

    Atheose August 18, 2007, 2:50 pm
  • It almost makes me pine for J.C. Romero.

    DW-sf August 18, 2007, 3:02 pm
  • Tito is going to keep running him out there until it does
    One really has to wonder where/when Tito acknowledges this breaking point.
    Is it one more blown save? Two more? Ten more?
    Surely at some point this business of wanting a pitcher to have the manager’s “confidence” has to come second to the good of the team.
    P.S. Where is Javier Lopez?

    Hudson August 18, 2007, 4:09 pm
  • “Is it one more blown save? Two more? Ten more?”
    That is the frightening question, isn’t it?

    Tom sf August 18, 2007, 4:58 pm
  • “Is it one more blown save? Two more? Ten more?”
    That is the frightening question, isn’t it?

    Tom sf August 18, 2007, 4:58 pm

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