Meet Bruce Chen. He’s a perfectly harmless Asian man who also happens to be one of the top 100 or so pitchers in the world. He is very good at pitching, probably better than you or I will ever be at anything. And, if the Boston Red Sox are forced to play a one-game playoff Thursday in Tampa Bay, Chen might be our (because you’re all Red Sox fans. You are. You fucking are.) starter.
I’m not normally one to question Theo Epstein and the machinations of brains older and wiser than mine, but this is bizarro world, right? The twilight zone? Is this an episode of Lost?
How can the team with the third-highest payroll not have an extra arm lying around? I get it, injuries happen, but we DO, in fact, have extra arms, just no confidence in those arms.
It makes sense that Terry Francona doesn’t want to rely on John Lackey, Tim Wakefield or the questionably-healthy Clay Buchholz to go six or seven innings. But how about this: start Lackey and, at the first sign of trouble (if there is one) bring in Wakefield. We’re not talking about five runs over four innings. We’re talking about runners on base, a run or two here or there, walks. If there’s that type of trouble, you know Lackey just doesn’t have it, so you switch to Wakefield. Hopefully Lackey will have made if through the order at least once, so Wakefield will be a big-time change of pace. Hopefully the time they get to Wakefield, you’re through six innings and you turn it over to the strong bullpen, and the Great September Collapse is no more and the Sox are in the playoffs.
Of course, this is all contingent upon the Sox winning tonight with Jon Lester on the mound. The Rays will win as the Yankees won’t even bother playing their starters, so Lester will need to be solid, and the bats–the fucking bats–need to get hot. Like, now.
I’m not ready for baseball to be over. My blog output is low enough as it is. I need this.