With seven days of Red Sox baseball by, here’s what we know:
We know nothing about Clay Buchholz:
The righty can take the ball on a big day and mix speeds, change locations and keep the ball from sailing. He can pitch like he did on Opening Day in Philadelphia, allow four base-runners over seven innings pitched and strike-out nine.
The righty can take the ball on a big day and suddenly lack the ability to hit his spots. He won’t be able to change the hitter’s eye-level and the ball will sail. Buchholz can pitch like he did in the series finale in New York, getting rocked for seven runs in the first frame. The only reason he pitched into the fourth inning is because of the 19-inning game earlier in the season.
(Still, his day one performance saw him rocket up ESPN’s most-popular fantasy players to add. And then – if you watch the Sox regularly – predictable regression.)
Mookie Betts is awesome:
The kid is 22-years-old, 5-foot-9 and weighs 180-pounds. He’s charismatic, fun to watch and I can look at him without thinking, “There’s NO way I could ever be him.” With Mookie, I still think the same thing, but without the ‘no’ in caps. Also, he’s a first-name kind of guy.
I also wrote about him in Double-A Portland last year. Check it out here.
Mike Napoli loves the “strikeouts are ruining baseball” narrative:
He began the year going 0-for-17 with five strike-outs. In the 19-inning game against New York, he went 0-for-8 and half of his outs were punch-outs at the plate.
You hate to see that.
There’s an awesome knuckle-baller in the bullpen:
Well, there used to be. The team sent him down Saturday when it activated Joe Kelly.
Steven Wright pitched the final five frames in the 19-inning affair I keep mentioning.
Those types of games are to pitchers like trampolines to The Simpsons:
Except knucklers, who are immune to arm tiredness and general pitching maladies.
Yes, he gave up a home-run on a knuckle-ball to a righty batter that went deep and almost down the line in left field in extra-innings in Yankee Stadium. And yes, I saw Aaron Boone’s home-run flash before my eyes as Teixeira’s bomb sailed out. (I won’t link that, too soon.)
But really, to see a Red Sox pitcher throw a knuckle and hold his own for five innings, and to see him throw that pitch with a runner on third and the game hinging on that runner, was gutsy because of the increased likelihood of a passed ball. It was gutsy. I liked it.
Edward Mujica is still far inferior to Koji Uehara, is the worst:
The guy let Chase Headley blast a two-out homer into the right field Yankee Stadium bleachers in the bottom of the ninth.
It is Mujica’s fault that Red Sox pitchers and New Englanders alike couldn’t properly enjoy their Saturday because we all had to be up watching the game-that-wouldn’t-end until nearly 3 a.m.
As one scout put it in a Gordon Edes column: “Why did he throw 10 straight sinkers to the same spot? He didn’t throw a split until after the home run.”
Translation from baseball speak: He made an ignoramus move. He only stopped doing so after he’d been properly reminded that Major League Baseball is not high school.
Tom Brady chose the right career:
The Montreal Expos picked Brady in the 18th-round of the 1995 MLB Draft. The Boston Red Sox picked Brady to throw out the first pitch of the Sox home opener Monday. It went like this; better than 50 Cent and Carlie Rae Jepsen, but nowhere near Colin Kaepernick, another MLB-draftee.
Patriots fans and Bündchen’s everywhere thank Brady for not going to Montreal.
Plus, as furious a competitor as Brady is, saving the Expos may have been an ask too big for him to deliver on.
But, to be honest, part of me really wants to see 1999 Pedro Martinez pitch to hypothetical Tom Brady. Such a strange, wonderful thought.
It’s still fun to cheer against A-Rod:
No explanation needed. It just frustrates me that A-Rod is arguably the Yankees best hitter right now.
Sam Fortier is a displaced New Englander living in New York. He likes baseball, crunchy peanut butter and the sound Kanye makes in his songs, which he thinks is spelled “HAAH.” He’s not a fan of purposefully misspelt business names (“Kathy’s Kut & Kurl”) or grammatical error’s. You can read him here every Monday, follow him on Twitter @Sam4TR, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.