Red Sox 8, Phillies 4
1. Completely irrelevant, yet fun, comparison:
Red Sox pitchers: .429 BA, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1.686 OPS
Willie Harris: .136 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 9 R, .406 OPS
2. Tonight, Josh Beckett solved his first-inning problems, allowing just a single baserunner before retiring the side. Next week’s assignment: Throw more than 100 pitches and/or make it through the eighth without imploding. A combination of Snow’s error, Beckett’s wildness and Francona’s inability to remove his pitchers at an appropriate time transformed the starter’s 7 IP, 1 ER line into 7 IP, 3 ER — enough to keep his ERA above 4.00.
3. A night after proclaiming the praises of the back end of our bullpen (Timlin tonight: nine pitches, all strikes, ERA now 0.96, WHIP now 1.12), we need to look at the scariness of just about everyone else. Foulke has gone from great to horiffic to competent over three years. But Tavarez just isn’t good enough to handle situations like tonight’s. He did OK, but games that begin 8-1 in the eighth shouldn’t turn into nail-biters. Not against the Phillies. I’d like to see Alvarez in a game sooner rather than later. Let’s see what the kid can do.
4. J.T. Snow, long presumed to have little usefulness, proved tonight he actually has none. It’s not his fault, but he’s now fielding worse at first base than Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz (all right, so that’s a stretch, but you get the idea). Time for a trade in which the Sox agree to eat most of his salary. Maybe we can get a serviceable middle reliever or low-end prospect in return.