Saturday, August 01, 2009

Red Sox Bail Out Smoltz

So, how much longer will John Smoltz stay in the Red Sox rotation?

He did nothing to improve his case to stay, as the Baltimore Orioles banged him around pretty good last night. The Red Sox staked him to a 3-0 lead, courtesy of a two-run shot by David Ortiz last night. (He got a mixed ovation on his first at-bat. Red Sox fans cheering and Orioles fans booing.) This now makes two games since the list revelation and a home run in each.

But the 3-0 lead disappeared, and the Sox fell behind 4-3, as Smoltz gave up homers to Nolan Reimold and Aubrey Huff. Jacoby Ellsbury also went deep, had three hits and stole a home run from Luke Scott in the sixth (pictured). But the Red Sox took the lead back when Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run shot in the seventh to put them ahead to stay.

Ramon Ramirez (1 hit), Hideki Okajima (2 walks) and Jonathan Papelbon (1-2-3) pitched scoreless relief to wrap up the win, with Pap getting his 27th save.

Smoltz got his second win with the Sox, but it was the offense that rescued him. He went six innings and gave up all five runs. More and more, Smoltz looks like just a one or two inning pitcher. Tim Wakefield is scheduled to come off the DL tomorrow, so does Smoltz go to the bullpen, and Clay Buchholz stays in the rotation? That's for Terry Francona to figure out and everyone else to speculate about.

Victor Martinez joins the Red Sox today, and will wear number 41.

Justin Masterson has a classy final post on his CSNNE blog about the trade to the Indians.

The Red Sox are now 1 1/2 back, as New York blew an early 3-0 lead to the White Sox and lost, 10-5. Josh Beckett takes the mound tonight in Baltimore against David Hernandez, who gave the Sox all kinds of fits last Sunday.

And BTW, Brian McNamee filed his own defamation suit against Roger Clemens yesterday. And in a real shocker, there's a poll at the above article: "Who do most believe: Roger Clemens or Brian McNamee? It's running 92%-8% in favor of McNamee.

Time to give it up, Rog. The Feds are waiting...

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