Posted 16 September 2011 - 08:44 AM
The problem is the starting pitching. Let's go down the depth chart:
Beckett: Been very good, we'll see ho whe comes back, hopefully the overcaution with the ankle was a disguise for getting him a little rest so he can dominate for the next 6 weeks.
Lester: Frankly, a disappointing year. Far too many ups and downs and a lack of consistently delivering good starts 3-4 games in a row. These things happen, but it's annoying. The injury probably didn't help.
Lackey: Has a chance to go down as the worst FA signing in Red Sox history. I would call him replacement level but they have had trouble even coming up with replacements. Faux injuries as well?
Buchholz: Can't predict injury but still, he's not helping much
Dice-K: Gone for year and probably for good. Another injury.
Wakefield: Hasn't been hurt, but hasn't been good since July. Sad that the 44 year old is the only guy, literally, they have been able to count on to take the ball all year.
Doubront: Gone for year. Another injury.
Miller: Nice experiment, everyone knew they couldn't really rely on him down the stretch, Beckett+Buchholz+Bedard being out is the only reason he has pitched the last two weeks.
Bedard: Good pickup, he has trouble staying on the mound, pulling him for a start or two seems more precaution than serious, but who knows. Hard to blame Sox here, but let's face it, another injury on their watch.
Weiland: Not ready.
When the starting pitching is as bad as it has been for the past 3 weeks, it makes every other problem on the team worse. The offense is up and down? Not a problem if you can win 2-1 or 3-2. Unreliable bullpen arms? You have to use them when you need to get 4+ innings night after night.
As Paul mentioned, this is the largest area of investment that this team has made, and it is, without question, its biggest weakness down the stretch. Theo needs to take a look up and down this organization and find out, essentially, what is the problem. Say it is a fluke but this is the fourth year in a row they are going into late September with the rotation a shambles due to injury. Something is not working with the way they approach pitching scouting, evaluation, conditioning, usage, something. There is only so much that you can just call bad luck and is just getting so frustrating to watch it year after year. Watching Garcia and Colon pitch like they are 10 years younger in the Bronx doesn't help the mood much either.
That said, the talent is there, at least at the top, and unless the pitchers just don't agree with him at all, you need to give Curt Young another year, I think.