Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Five And Ten: Satisfied?

Taking three of four from the Blue Jays over the weekend was a welcome change from what we saw earlier in April. Your Carmine Hose are now sitting at 5 and 10—better, but still a pitiful .333 winning percentage. To paraphrase 'The Wolf' character in Pulp Fiction, "Let's not congratulate ourselves too much".

The real cause for optimism is the renaissance of the starting pitching—with Lester, Beckett and Dice-K turning in gems (we'll conveniently forget about Buchholz and Lackey for the moment). And, while the offense (or more precisely, Jed Lowrie) has also come around, there are still a couple of troubling issues with this team.

1.) First and foremost: Carl Crawford. His inability to find a comfortable niche in the order is screwing up multiple spots. J.D. Drew is now leading off and, let's face it, he shouldn't be. Jacoby Ellsbury has got be the permanent lead-off hitter—which might keep him from swinging for the fences so much (not that 4 HRs is a bad thing).

2.) Jarrod Saltalamacchia is just not cutting it—on offense or defense. Don't look to the Captain as a solution, though—he's actually got a lower batting average than Crawford! We need a real catcher until Ryan Lavarnway can inherit the tools of ignorance (maybe 2 years from now).

Kudos to Tito for committing to Lowrie—now let's keep him there for the duration. So, bottom line, "5 and 10" is a starting point as the team embarks on a very tough 9-game West Coast swing. Let's not get too comfortable, shall we?