What was important about Sunday's game? Probably extremely little, since 15 of the astounding 16 runs the Sox allowed were coughed up by a bullpen filled with guys who don't figure to play a major role, if any role at all, next season. Hell, after walking three batters and allowing three runs in a single inning of work, Taylor Thompson didn't even make it through the day.
There's a warm space in my heart for moments when players are optioned with a corresponding move to follow.
"Get Thompson out of here!"
"Send him down to Charlotte?"
"Yeah, right away!"
"Who you calling up?"
"I'll think of someone. Just get him out of here!"
- To expand upon this concept of no one who got trashed Sunday really matters; it's very easy to see how none of these guys might be used next season, but only a handful even have a chance.
- Javy Guerra - IP, 4 H, 3 ER, BB, K. He throws hard but his curve is a very inconsistent offering that doesn't build off his fastball very well, and he has rough command to boot. He could hang around because of the big fastball, but surely no reason to trust him with a set role.
- Taylor Thompson - IP, H, 3 ER, 3 BB, K. Missing up in the zone with mediocre stuff while falling behind in the count is kind of an overwhelming combination. Only massive bullpen carnage made this much MLB work possible.
- Ronald Belisario - O IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 10 pitches. He really looked like he had cleaned up his delivery for a stretch after the first couple of weeks in the season, but now he's a mess again and is a free agent at the end of the year so I think we've already hit our limit on energy to spend on worrying about Beli.
- Eric Surkamp - IP, 4 H, 2 ER. Do you ever wonder how bad Frank De Los Sanots and Charlie Leesman must look in bullpen session if Surkamp is now on 16 appearances of looking terrible. He's here simply because there are no left-handers. Presumably next year there will be left-handers.
- Andre Rienzo - IP, 5 H, 3 ER, BB, 3 K, 3 HR - Struck out the side! Rienzo would seem to have to have some sort of role on next year's 40-man because of his swingman abilities, but he keeps dissuading the team of comfort in using him in any capacity.
- What a shame for Jose Quintana's name to be tied to this stinker. He labored through just five innings in 115 pitches, but had to pitch over three errors and only allowed the single unearned run. It might not have made his highlight tape, but generally with modern day bullpens, turning over four innings of work to be covered after not allowing a single earned run is not a recipe for disaster.
- On a positive note, Alexei Ramirez is 16 for 45 (.356) over his last ten games with seven extra-base hits and three home runs. That's all that's worth reporting since he's in full-on hack mode right now, but if the season ended today, he'd have the best offensive season of his career (104 wRC+).
- This game wasn't Robin Ventura's fault, not even close. I'm not sure what I hate more, when people just blame everything negative action on the manager, or when people use lazy criticisms of the manager as examples for why they ignore legitimate ones. But I wonder what this type of game does to his decision-making process. No one likes to get embarrassed, and extreme examples stick. Are any of these guys ever going to see action in a game the Sox are within shouting distance in again? They certainly don't deserve to, but probably need to, since no one worth riding should really be ridden down the stretch of this season.
Team Record: 54-58
Next game is Monday at 7:10pm CT on CSN vs. Texas
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