OK, let’s stop dicking around, shall we?
Here’s what it is. Bronson Arroyo has a 4.01 ERA. His K/9 is 7.2 and his BB/9 is 2.4. Derek Lowe has a 4.91 ERA, a K/9 of 5.2, and a BB/9 of 3.4. Arroyo’s K/B ratio is 2.95; Lowe’s is 1.53. Finally, Arroyo’s RSAA (Runs Saved Above Average, a measure of how many runs the pitcher has allowed versus the league average) is a very average -1… but Derek Lowe’s is -25. Second worst in the American League.
Lowe has benefitted immensely from having good defense behind him lately, but we should not cripple that excellent defense by forcing them to protect a declining sinkerball pitcher. Here are your Red Sox pitchers for the postseason:
Martinez, Schilling, Arroyo, and Wakefield start. Reverse Schilling and Martinez if the last week of the season forces it.
Lowe is your “someone needs to save the day for a couple of innings” guy. He is also your emergency closer. See also: Oakland/Boston, 2003 playoffs. See also: man, I wish there had been someone other than poor Wakefield to pitch in extra innings of that ALCS game 7, also in 2003.
Foulke closes. Embree and Timlin are the clear setup guys. Scott Williamson has pitched two scoreless innings since coming off the disabled list; my opinion is that he’s gonna be good to go in the playoffs. If not him, Ramiro Mendoza. (Look at his performance in August and September and tell me I’m wrong.) Mike Meyers fills out the bullpen as a lefty specialist, and since you want him around you don’t get to have both Williamson and Mendoza. Which is OK, it’s an awesome bullpen anyhow. No weak points.
Ten pitchers. Eleven wins. Certainly doable with that pool. But I make no predictions if Lowe goes into the postseason as the #3 starter. He lost every postseason game he started last year; this is not an unobvious observation. I hope Francona has made it as well.
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