When you think about it, Juan Nieves is right; whoever is out there today is the ace. It all depends on today’s starting pitcher. However, that doesn’t address the fact that none of Boston’s starters are reliable, day-in, day-out consistent hurlers. They all have question-marks on their records. Any one of them could win twenty games or lose twenty games, given the opportunity.
Mostly they pitch to contact, usually a good trait. But if the bases are loaded and none out, a strike-out might be called for. None of these pitchers, except maybe a revived Clay Bucholz, could be expected to deliver that. And when you pitch to contact, you better have control every fifth day. Catching too much of the plate can send you to an early shower.
When you go up against Felix Hernandez or Yu Darvish, you’d like to think you have a shut-down guy, an A-hurler. Which one of the Fab Five will be that guy? We don’t know yet and maybe we won’t know when Spring Training breaks. Call him “ace” or call him “next in the rotation,” is he the guy to match “0’s” with dominant pitchers?
Teams like to have a “stopper,” the guy who will halt a losing streak, because he stops the opponent cold. Do the Red Sox have that kind of pitcher? Is it Bucholz? Is it Rick Porcello? Is this the “A-team” or the “C-team” ? We don’t know yet.
A year ago I was touting Clay Bucholz for No. 1. I still am, but I’m not placing any money on it.
The bullpen needs a periodic rest. Is there someone who will give you eight or nine solid innings? The guy who can run down a line-up four times? We don’t know yet.
It’s these uncertainties that make fans long for that one pitcher, who will turn the tide or stop the bleeding. Yes, he may already be in the rotation, ready to ascend to glory. Is it Joe Kelly? Is it Wade Miley? We don’t know, and we may not know till June.
is it any wonder the fans are wishing for straight A’s? And worried that they might come up with five gentleman C’s?