Thursday, June 25, 2009

Smoltz Does Not Deliver the Goods

The John Smoltz era did not start out as Red Sox fans had hoped. It took 35 pitches to get out of the first inning and before it was done the Nats had 4 runs on the board. Smoltz did settle down and pitched 5 innings. In reality the jury is still out on Smoltz's ability to come back from the shoulder surgery; his velocity was good enough and he had good control in the game but he did get hit pretty hard. His first inning looked like one of Dice-K's recent starts but by the way he finished the night left room for some optimism. It will take three starts to know what the Red Sox have in John Smoltz and if he doesn't have it they can always turn to Buchholz, Bowden, or Masterson to join the rotation unitl Dice-K comes back.

The Red Sox bullpen had an off night too with Bard and Saito each giving up 2 runs. The offense had some bright spots with Baldelli hitting a home run and Drew getting 2 hits in the game. But there were some problems as well; Pedroia went back to struggling at the lead-off spot going 0-4 and Ortiz had an 0-fer at clean up.

Red Sox Lose 9-3 BOX SCORE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Red Sox 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 3 8 2
Nationals 4 0 1 0 0 2 2 0 0 9 11 1


Shelley June 26, 2009 at 4:56 AM  

All in all....I'm not unhappy with Smoltzie's performance. Yeah, that first inning sucked, but after that I think we saw the pitcher we are going to see this year. His velocity was good...and he was making his pitches. I think the amount of pressure on him...he's human and that kind of nerves and pressure can get to anyone. From the second inning on...the guy looked good. If we take out the 1st inning...Smoltz gives up just one run. Yes, I know that is not how the ballgame mulligans allowed, but it's how I am looking at it.

Plus, he struck out the side in the 5th inning. I am looking forward to his next start and think he's going to be a great asset to our ballclub.

Matt June 26, 2009 at 6:41 AM  

There was a lot of speculation that he would not get his velocity back and would never be able to compete again. I think he proved that he could and just looked rusty. I think you are right that he will be an asset going forward.


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