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Will They Make The Playoffs?

Posted By Brian Joyce On Sep 18 2011 @ 10:06 pm In Boston Red Sox | No Comments

When your payroll is $163 million, the above question should never be asked. With ten games remaining and Boston clinging to a  two game lead over the never-say-die Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox are a ship with major holes in it. Is it time to abandon ship?

Boston has a doubleheader starting tomorrow (part of a four game series) at home, against the lowly Orioles. Rookie Kyle Weiland and his 7.58 ERA gets the nod to start the first game of the day-night separate admission, doubleheader.  Weiland has only 19 innings under his belt and has given up 16 runs while walking ten. Last time Weiland was on the rubber was Thursday night against Tampa Bay, and he lasted only three innings and gave up four runs. The opposition is hitting .308 against him in those 19 innings. Weiland has that “deer in headlights” look when he is on the mound. He’s not exactly the guy you want starting such an important game this late in the season.

If you think the game one starter is bad, look who’s starting the night game of that doubleheader. None other than John Lackey,  who has a 6.19 ERA in 26 starts and has given up 187 hits in 149.2 innings pitched. Saying that Lackey pitches to contact is being extremely kind. Lackey is in his second year of a five year deal that will pay him $82.5 million. Since joining the Red Sox, Lackey has been a disaster and I don’t see it getting any better. Another bad contract under the guidance of Red Sox General Manager, Theo Epstein. I guess Epstein never took economics at Yale University.

Brace yourselves, Tuesday night’s starter is Erik Bedard. He will be facing his old team (pitched with the Orioles for four seasons prior to his time in Seattle) and the lefty will take the hill for the first time since Labor Day weekend.  Bedard beat the Texas Rangers on September 3rd at Fenway Park and that was  his only win as a member of the Red Sox in six previous starts. Since that win by Bedard, Boston has lost 11 of their last 14 games, and have seen their lead in the wild card drop dramatically.  It didn’t make a lot of sense to trade for a guy that is hurt as often as Bedard has been in recent years. The last time Bedard made over thirty starts in a season was back in 2006 (the only season he has done that) and has never pitched over 200 innings in a single season. Durability issues have always plagued the lefty throughout his career.  When Bedard was picked up on the final day in July from Seattle, some people questioned whether he was a good fit in Boston. We all know about the fishbowl atmosphere that exists when playing for the Red Sox. Some people have thrived in that atmosphere, while others have gotten swallowed up when playing in that city.

If Boston does make the playoffs, they will need starters that do not Josh Beckett, and Jon Lester, to step up. So far, September has been a month every Red Sox fan would love to forget about. If you see Red Sox’ fans lined up along the Tobin Bridge, you’ll know how the Red Sox season ended. That’s a long drop from the Tobin Bridge, almost as long as the Red Sox in the standings.

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