Thursday, May 21, 2009


Not a reflection on the team, per se, but is it just me, or is "D-Backs" a little too close phonetically to "d-bags"?

What a weird twelve months of Boston sports - the Pats win 11 games and miss out on the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. The Red Sox go to game seven in the ALCS before being eliminated. The Celtics and the Bruins make it to game seven in their respective semi-final series. That's a whole lot of close, but no enchilada.

What's the common thread there? Injuries to key players.

Phil Kessel and David Krejci both scheduled off-season surgery the minute the Bruins were bounced from the playoffs, and Aaron Ward played in spite of a broken orbital socket. The Celtics played without Kevin Garnett or Leon Powe, the Sox went deep into the playoffs with injuries to David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, and Josh Beckett. None of the teams was hit as hard as the Patriots, though, which made a run at the playoffs without starting corners, down to their third string OLB on the right side, at times down to their fourth running back, and of course, sans Tom Brady.

What do they do if any of these teams remained healthy? Sure, it's irrelevant, but it's fun to speculate.

It was nice to see Ortiz finally hit a home run, and what's more, he hit it to the deepest part of Fenway.

Is Brad Penny hitting his stride? Since a somewhat rough outing on April 28 when he gave up seven runs in 2.2 innings (only 4 earned), Penny is 2-1 with one no-decision in for starts, has a 4.26 ERA, while averaging 6.1 innings per start, and has a strike out to walk ratio of 3 to 1 while holding opponents to no home runs during the stretch.

Contrast that to his first four starts during which he was 2-0 with two no-decisions, averaged 4.1 innings per start, had a 8.66 ERA and a strike out to walk ratio of just around 1 to 2 while giving up five homers in the four games.

Sure, Penny hasn't been dominant, but those last four games he's started putting up numbers that are solid - the sort of numbers that could keep him in the rotation if he keeps it up.