Some time in April I was at a game with Kelly O’Connor where we were talking about the people right there at the game as well as people ranting on Twitter who were complaining about what a terrible signing Carl Crawford was for the Red Sox.
While having to admit that he (along with about 80% of the team at the time) was struggling, we both wondered the same things: Â Why were fans acting like Crawford was a rookie the team through a crazy contract at OR why were they acting as if they had never seen Crawford play before he got to Boston?
That it wasn’t obvious to people that he was having a bad month still boggles my mind. Â May has been a bit of a different month for Crawford. Â He has three game-winning hits. Â It’s still slow-going for Crawford but all signs, including his knack for getting hits when the team really needs them, are pointing his his returning to form. Â He might not have Adrian Gonzalez numbers but it’s far too early to decide signing him was a bad idea. Here’s to many more walk-off hits for Carl Crawford.
On the one hand, their ability to win these close games is impressive. Â On the other, I’m getting tired of every game being a nail-biter. Â During this six-game winning streak, the only “blow out” game played was the 6-0 win against the Yankees. Â The other two Yankees games were won by one and two runs and the last three games the Red Sox played were won by one run. Â I’d like a piling on of Red Sox runs this weekend. Â My fingernails need some time to grow back.
It occurs to me that I don’t know all that much about this year’s Chicago Cubs. Â Unfortunate given they’ll be in town all weekend. Â So let’s catch up a little bit.
The Cubs are currently at 19-23, putting them 5th in the NL Central and 5.5 games out of first. Â The pitchers we’ll see this weekend? Â Doug Davis, Carlos Zambrano and old friend Matt Garza (going up against Jon Lester, Alfredo Aceves and Tim Wakefield…again I ask for many Red Sox runs).
Davis had elbow tendon surgery last year and has only one start this season since he went on the DL last July. Â In that one start, he pitched five innings, struck out six and gave up one run on four hits (he also got the loss).
Zambrano had a ten-game winning streak on the road until the Cubs lost his last outing. Â He has pitched against the Red Sox only one time, when the Sox visited Chicago in 2005, and the Sox took him for four runs on five hits in five innings. Â Repeating history would be nice here, fellas.
We all know Matt Garza. Â Feels like he was the bane of the team’s existence for way too long. Â If the Red Sox can get to him early and shake him up, could be a fun night for baseball. Â The Garza/Wakefield game is the game we’ll be live chatting this week…Sunday at 8pm once again. Â If memory serves, we have good luck with Garza starts that take place during live chats. Â More of that, please.
Old friend Carlos Pena is with the Chicago Cubs this season and Alfonso Soriano, once a hated rival (wow, that was so long ago) will be back too. Â Honestly, I have not much about the Cubs. Â Pay they very little mind until about September usually. Â But they aren’t a team I dislike, so at the very least having them back for this historic series will be fun (especially on Saturday when both teams wear their throwback uniforms).
Jose Iglesias and Michael Bowden will get sent back to Pawtucket for this series. Â In even sadder news, Hideki Okajima has been designated for assignment. Â Among many other more serious things, what that means is the only original “pirate” in the bullpen now is Jonathan Papelbon – and he was never one of the bullpen band…one of my favorite eras in Red Sox bullpen history is truly over.
Whither Kyle Snyder??? Â (Seriously…dude seems to have fallen off the face of the earth.)
If you’re looking for information on the Cubs, I’d like to suggest checking out Julie DiCaro’s blog “A League of Her Own“. Â She can get you caught up to speed on the enemy. Â (I can’t even type that without chuckling. Â I have a difficult time considering the Cubs the enemy.)
A nine-game winning streak sounds nice, doesn’t it?