Sunday, August 12, 2007

Gagne, Squandered Opportunities Killing Sox

Like just about every other Red Sox fan who walks God's earth, I am royally pissed at Eric Gagne. Once again, he spit the bit and gave up a game-tying home run to Miguel Tejada in the eighth inning, and Baltimore went on to win in 10 innings, 6-3 on Kevin Millar's three-run shot.

Gagne has been a complete disaster. In five outings, he has struglled in each one. His Red Sox ERA is now over 15.00, in four innings. He's allowed 10 hits, and the opposition is hitting a staggering .474 against him. Once again you have to wonder why he is getting belted the way he has. Is it an injury? This puts Terry Francona in a tough situation. When does he bring Gagne back into a clutch situation like the last two, where he failed so miserably? Francona should have stuck with Hideki Okajima to finish the inning, but brought Gagne in to help his confidence. He maybe destroying any trust Francona has in him now.

Gagne to his credit has not blamed his problems on anyone but himself. Francona sounded optimistic about him after the game. He has tried to show faith in him. But the season is winding down. The Red Sox simply cannot afford to give away games, and a series like they did this weekend in Baltimore. The Yankees swept the fading Indians in Cleveland, and are now 4 games back.

But as bad as Gagne has bad, don't overlook another atrocious job by the Red Sox offense. They left another nine men on base on Sunday, and wiped out two rallies by double plays (courtesy of Manny Ramirez and Eric Hinske). This has been what's killing this team all year: missed opportunities. The Red Sox are near the top of the AL in getting men on base, but they are one of the worst in overall percentage of getting those men in. The Red Sox could easily have scored seven runs on Sunday, and Gagne's latest meltdown wouldn't have led to them losing this game.

Curt Schilling pitched six solid innings, allowing just one unearned run. Once again, he gets another no-decision. And that's a shame really.

Blame Gagne for this latest travesty, but don't let the offense off the hook. They have to shoulder some of the blame here. It's time for them to stop wasting precious chances and seal away wins. It's getting late, with just 45 games to go.

The Red Sox have a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way. Time to get serious, or make other plans come October.


Anonymous said...

I really don't blame Gagne, althougb I don't want to see him in another game. The reason the Red Sox are in this must-win position at this point in the season is that they simply have NO STICK and no ability to mount any kind of come back. Were they up nine or ten games-which they easily could be and which you would have expected-it wouldn't've mattered so much. But two games lost in the standings in three days-and in nutcrunching losses at that-is enough to make even the most optimistic Pollyanna cringe.

Persephone said...

I am sick to death of watching these guys fail to execute the most fundamental parts of offensive baseball: gettting guys over to third with no out, getting guys in from third with less than two out, moving guys to second. The baserunning has been atrocious lately, particularly from Manny and Lugo, and what kills me more than anything is that no one seems to care. When Manny got thrown out at third yesterday on Bako's "passed ball," the guys in the dugout were laughing and fist-bumping. I don't get the impression they were applauding the effort and hustle; I get the idea that they were laughing at Manny doing something dumb again. There's fucking Lugo having a laugh; hope he thought fucking up a routine DP ball was so funny...these guys are killing me right now. Once again, as it always does, it goes back to Francoma. All the days off for regulars, the fact that he has absolutely zero doghouse capability, his willingness to stick with the same failing guys day after day after day, well, I know that players like a manager like that, but the fucking lead is down to four games. It's time to get serious. By the 8th yesterday, it was obvious the Yanks were gonna win; is Okajima really still subject to being yanked for a lefty/righty issue? Seriously, Francona? He hasn't earned the right yet to pitch the whole 8th? Fucking ridiculous. I am so fucking mad at this whole organization right now that I could scream. I can't get into panic mode because I'm just too mad. Thus endeth the rant.

Unknown said...

I think Gagne is a mole, a Yankee in a Sox uniform, infiltrating the team and bringing it down. Francona would be crazy to ever give him the ball again unless it's to mop up. The Oki and Pap one-two punch worked all season. Whey screw with it, especially down the stretch? No doubt the Sox should have scored more runs, but that's been the problem all year. It's the pitching, and especially the relief pitching, that's kept them on top. Give Gagne the boot... now.

The Omnipotent Q said...

I certainly understand and appreciate all of your frustration, as I feel the same way. Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts.

Terry Francona still sounds committed to Gagne. Whether he's still going to get those eighth inning assignments remains to be seen. But if he does, break out the rosary beads, or pray to the deity of your choice...

His struggles still doesn't get the offense off the hook. They have to get asses in high gear and put up some runs...consistently.

Suldog said...

Well, this goes under the heading of "Don't fix what ain't broke." Okajima and Papelbon, 8th and 9th. Gagne should be a spare part, not someone to throw in the middle of that.