Friday, June 5, 2015

Nolasco, Milone and Mauer's bunt

This is Ricky Nolasco's
third time on the
disabled list in
11 momths.
As it happened, it was apparently an easy call. Ricky Nolasco tried to throw a bullpen session Thursday morning in Boston and knew immediately that he can't pitch.

So the easy way to get Tommy Milone on the active roster was the way followed. Nolasco is said to be headed to a CT scan now that the team has returned to Minnesota. Given the language used so far to describe the ankle -- the word "impingement" has been used -- I won't be at all surprised if he has surgery in short order.


Milone had a "Blackburn" in his return to the rotation -- a start without a strikeout. Not a real impressive linescore -- five innings, nine hits and a walk, four runs allowed. The defense didn't help a lot early on, but he also threw a couple of gopher balls.

He'll have better starts, I'm sure. With Ervin Santana now about a month away from returning, he'll need to. And this was actually the best of Milone's three career starts in Fenway Park, long regarded as a graveyard for left-handed pitchers.


My Twitter feed featured a lot of commentary about the Joe Mauer bunt in the ninth inning that resulted in a Red Sox error and the first of four runs for the Twins in the inning.

It wasn't a good bunt, and as it turned out, a bad bunt was good for the Twins. The Sox botched the play, perhaps because it took them by surprise. Surprise is a stressor, and this Red Sox team is getting a reputation as a poor defensive team. Or, more broadly, a poor fundamental team; some of their baserunning Wednesday was of the TOOTBLAN category (Thrown Out On The Bases Like A Nincompoop).

I don't want to see a steady diet of Mauer sacrifices -- if that's on the agenda, he shouldn't be hitting in the top half of the order -- but I'm hardly opposed to the call, and wouldn't have been had it been a routine sac bunt. Unpredictability is an optimal strategic state.

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