I’m sitting at my keyboard listening to the Yankees shellac the Red Sox (it’s 9-2 now), so it got me thinking about pitching.
Josh Beckett was steady until the top of the 6th inning. That’s usually what does in a pitcher. The big inning. It certainly did Beckett in tonight.
With Dice-K, it’s often the second inning–although yesterday it was the first (although he managed to get through a few more innings).
It’s much better, though, to spread the runs over an entire game.
Look at this line for a Red Sox pitcher from a while back:
5.0 IP 8 H 7 R (6 HR) 7 ER 0 BB 2 SO
First of all, what manager in their right mind would leave a pitcher like that in a game for 5 innings (it wasn’t Grady)? Second, how the heck can you win that game? Third, what pitcher has the stones to go out for 5 innings and actually win that game?
I’ll give you some hints (no, it’s not the furry chap above). It was back in the heady days following the trade of Nomar in 2004. It was an away game. It was not Curt Schilling. Nor was it Pedro.
That’s right. Tim Wakefield authored that gem. Remember it? August 8, 2004 in Detroit. Six home runs from Detroit. And the Sox still won (and Wake got the W)–11-9.
Pitching can be ugly. But it’s best to spread out the ugliness. Six hits (or home runs) in an inning can be bad. Six hits (or home runs) spread out over several innings is something you can survive.
So, Josh and Dice-K, some advice: Go ahead, give up some runs. But don’t do it all in one inning.
(The score is now 10-2.)