There are readers of this site who have a mild or not so mild disdain for puns and language games that play with player names. I tried to avoid it for a few days, but why worry, they probably won’t come back anyway.This heading has several not so deep meanings. Of course, we are talking about Justin Masterson.How can we not? Nine innings of masterful (oops) shutout pitching brilliance. It was the best start of his young career.His motion seemed completely locked in, as his 9th inning delivery was identical to his first, even with 95 mph fastballs.He looked like the kind of pitcher we should have kept. I am not saying the trade was unjustified. It was a great move for the Sox, but why do we have to give up young pitchers? I guess that is an obvious question. They are good trade bait. Masterson is 25 and in my limited view still growing. Two years ago, after his Boston debut (pictured above), Catcher Kevin Cash commented on how composed he was throughout the game in which he threw 95 pitches, 58 for strikes, with his great sinker.
In printer’s terms, justified means to form an even surface or true line with something else. In facing Justin, Red Sox bats were not finding any true lines with the ball. Jerry Remy said it was the worst game of the year for the Sox. I might agree, but not so far behind is the pounding we took against the Yankees. But CLEVELAND? The only remedy now is to bring Masterson back next year.
As I watched the last three outs, mainly to see Masterson complete the game, with many fans on their feet including some drunk Red Sox fans( hey if you traveled all the way to Cleveland for the game, why not cheer him on?), I wondered who was left in the Twittersphere, since no one was really commenting anymore after the Boof Bonser implosion. Following that was Ordinary Joe Nelson. Apocalyptically bad was what came to my mind, and even more true since I felt like the last surviving Red Sox fan on MLB.com. Professor Abraham made the most hysterical comment: “Nap Lajoie, who died in 1959, just got on base against Joe Nelson.” Thank you Peter for the comic relief when we desperately needed it. Perfect
Abuzz with language plays, coverage of the game includes these, a few of my favorites:
“Master of his Craft”
“He leaves the Red Sox with a sinking feeling.”
Go Sox. And long live the (good) pun.
The Orioles snapped a ten-game losing streak yesterday and I snapped an 11-day blog writing streak. Both were conscious, willful decisions.My reasons were personal, as you can see from the previous entry. (Thank you for the comments and emails from many new blogosphere friends.)
In fact, the Orioles reasons for winning were personal, too. It seemed they clawed back yesterday, determined to avert a sweep in front of a mixed crowd, where Sox fans chanting “Let’s Go Red Sox,” were so audible on my computer that I was confused about the game’s park. The O’s fans valiantly chanted back. Ah, Fenway South. It hurts being an O’s fan, so the players wrestled back for them. So why are you reading this on a Red Sox blog you are asking by now. Do I really need to hear pity for a team we needed to sweep?
Maybe it’s the gracious O’s fan, a colleague, who lives in Maryland (yes, he has a two hour commute,as opposed to my 12 minutes). Ken, a lifelong fan, was the first person I thought of when I found out I couldn’t go to the game on Friday. He suffered an 11-0 defeat, all while sitting behind the Red Sox dugout in our Fenway South filled stands. Of course it was all beautiful to me, and to us. As was Saturday. And then Sunday happened, all the clunky, just- missed plays, the bloopers, the hit-by-pitches, the sore backs, the decreased velocity of Lackey, the errors, the 0-for-Ortiz, the high-pitch counts, topped off with a high-dosage of bubble-gum mixed with tobacco for Tito.
The good news is that we are 14-5 over the last 19 games.
The good news is that Lackey isn’t injured given the suggestions yesterday about his velocity. It seems that Sox fans are going to protest each game Lackey grinds out. I have vowed my faith and remain by it. If the Antagonistas de Lackey continue their uprising, so be it. He will win the next time out. Before then, I suggest looking at the stats from the last 9 years. His record is 108-75. At 6’6″ and 245, he will give us the innings and win games, even sometimes when our bats get quiet.
PS. As I linked to the Globe to look over our place in the standings, I saw Professor Cafardo’s article about how meaningful this win was for the Orioles. I hope my entry doesn’t seem too unoriginal given the tone of Nick’s terrific insights. “To Orioles, this was a big deal.” But what the heck, I am writing as the Monday Morning Pitcher. Also, I await the return of the Boof. Where’s the Boof? His velocity is back up at 95 in a rehab session.
On the IPOD as I write this: Reckoner by Radiohead
I have watched enough blown saves by Ramirez and Schoeneweis. Last night was awful. That’s 1-6 in extra innings thus far.Yes, Lester was a powerhouse with 10 strikeouts but made a few mistakes to let Detroit build a comeback.Then Okey had his own problems. But when we have to go 12 or 13 or 14 innings, the options seem pathetic.Scott was born in Long Branch, down the road from where I write, which is also the birthplace of two-time Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky (fellow Red Sox fan,who now resides in Boston and has taught for many years at BU). I want to support the hometown pitcher, but how? Is there another pitching situation that is better for him? And Ramon can be great, with a wide-up that looks like Valverde’s. Detroit had their own troubles. As Cafardo reports in the Globe, “Leyland and team president Dave Dombrowski made a flurry of moves after the game.” Maybe we don’t need a flurry, but how about a brief shower in the bullpen? Meanwhile, I await Boof Bonser’s return. Medium rare please, with a fiery pepper sauce.