Sunday, September 9, 2007

Tito's Got to Know When to Fold 'Em


I know that it was only 2-2/3 innings, but c'mon...
I'm pretty sure EVERYONE out there in the Nation was screaming for Tito to take Dice-K out of the game.
Maybe Tito is hearing impaired? Hmmm..
In the third with bases loaded and nobody out, Dice-K walked Nick Markakis to force in a run. Tito left him in.
Then, Miguel Tejada sliced an RBI single to left, making the score 4-3, Sox. Still bases loaded... Tito still left him in.
Next, Dice-K pitches a bases-loaded walk to Kevin Millar -- to tie the game 4-4. Still bases loaded... Tito STILL left him in.
I'm pretty sure we all predicted what was coming next... our worst nightmare. A Grand slam on a pitch right over the plate, by Scott Moore, and there goes the game.
No way, NOW TITO TAKES HIM OUT. Go figure.
No one knows for sure what Dice-K's problem is. He's denying it's fatigue, though the Japanese baseball season is a few months shorter, and in Japan he pitched every 6 days, whereas here he pitches every 5th day. Its certainly understandable, if this is his issue.
Pitching coach John Farrell is saying that Dice-K's relying on his fastball too much, and overpitching it, so his control is being compromised.
Honestly, I don't care all that much what the issues are, I just need to see this get fixed. If it takes a mini vacation for him, to get some rest, I'm OK with that. Give him the rest of September off. We certainly have a decent stockpile of pitchers available to cover the void. Tavarez is certainly good enough for the schedule we have left, and Buchholz and Hansack are nice little cushions for chewing up some extra innings .
Seems eerily familiar to 2004, when Derek Lowe tanked at season's end. It cost him his spot in the starting rotation going into the playoffs.
Lowe was infuriated, and in the end, became one of our unsung heros of the postseason.
I just wonder if Tito would really be willing to A. Sit Dice-K for awhile, and B. move him to a relief spot in the postseason.
For the kind of money that the Red Sox have invested in this guy, and Tito's track record with staying with struggling players, I am betting that neither will happen, even if it would be the best thing to do for the short term.

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