Going into tonight's games, the Blue Sox are in second place in the Bluegrass A.L. only league, 6 points out of first and 7.5 points ahead of third. As expected, it's the offense that is leading the way, and right now it's Evan Longoria pacing the Blue Sox. He's on fire, batting .482 with 5 home runs and 10 rbi's. He's even got a stolen base. As I type this, he just walked with the bases loaded to add another rbi. Unfortunately, it was against teammate (fellow Blue Sock) Chien-Ming Wang. (Wang has been terrible in his two starts and is not helping the pitching at all.)
The Blue Sox were hit hard right out of the gate with the demotion of Jeff Clement to the minors. I picked up Mike Redmond for his spot, and he's been hurt and bad. (Wang's out, but Carlos Pena just took some hack reliever yard for a grand slam. So Wang gave up 8 runs in 1 inning. Is that worse than Pavano?) I thought Redmond wouldn't hurt my average, and could easily be replaced when Clement comes back up. He's hitting only .167, and my other catcher, Dioner Navarro, is hitting only .191.
But it gets better from there. In addition to Longoria, Kinsler is hot, hitting .349, with 2 hr's and 8 rbi's, although he has yet to steal a base. Regarding steals, I decided to shy away from the "steals" guys and try and get steals from guys that would also help in other categories, like Kinsler and Sizemore. I thought Wise might help, but he's got a goose egg in the category. Sizemore leads the team with two. Surprisingly, Branyan and Longoria each have a steal. Right now, I'm tied for third in steals, so that's good enough for me.
The Blue Sox lead the league in homers, with three more than 2nd place. Longoria leads the team with 5. Four other guys have 2, including Branyan, Sizemore, Morneau, and Kinsler. Morneau and Sizemore have been pretty disappointing, though, batting .259 and .200 respectively. We're tied in rbi's with the Water Buffaloes.
Rookie of the year candidate, Travis Snider, has been just okay, batting .250 with one home run and 2 rbi's. He does seem to be getting playing time, though. Speaking of rookie of the year candidates, I have not yet activated Elvis Andrus, but will do so tomorrow. I have to decide who to drop, and when to activate him. I'll probably just drop Nick Punto, with the other candidate being Nomar. Lowrie is off to a slow start, so hopefully Julio Lugo will have the starting job after he comes off the D/L.
Pitching wise, the Blue Sox are in the middle in strikeouts and near the top in saves in wins, but dead last in era. Wang's outing tonight means it may be a while before the Blue Sox recover in the era category, but it's a long season. All of my relievers (Fuentes, Percival, and Ray) have bad era's, but have three saves among them. Beckett looked good in the opener, but not sharp on Sunday. Waiver wire addition Ricky Romero won his debut (against Porcello) and I'm hopeful that he can give me what I got from Litsch last year, a post-draft waiver wire pickup. Slowey and Litsch face each other tonight after both coming off 6.0 inning, 5 run, 5 k starts last time out. Slowey won, Litsch lost. Slowey and Litsch face off tonight in Minnesota.
Mike Mussina, Hall of Famer
3 weeks ago