WEEI>On Demand>>The Road to October with Rob Bradford and Alex Speier

The Road to October with Rob Bradford and Alex Speier

Aug 26, 2013|

Rob and Alex are continuing down the road for October. This week they look at Clay Buchholz's rehab start with the Lowell Spinners, the Red Sox bullpen, and the 5th spot in the batting order.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

That is correct the road to October -- rob Bradford OBI dot com. Alex Spears right next little -- right next to me ready to roll. He's also WEEI dot com welcome thank you to think more -- or -- I don't know Erica I feel like that match was he oppression. No I mean if the shoe fits that's fine I'm fine with him where where guys were dive in and doesn't make. Doesn't make a difference what we are it matters what is going on in the world of the pennant drive Red Sox. That's going to be tucked -- next hour leading up to the great. -- -- At that becoming write about 7 o'clock but up until that will be taking your call 617. 77979837. Or you can tax the AT&T -- line at 37. 937 or Alex give your Twitter handle. At Alex beer SPE -- -- are well done and I'm act Brad photo you can -- is that way as well. And as I said where we get thirty games to go thirty games to go in the regular season. This is that this is that Alex this is truly the -- -- -- the road has basically become. From a dirt road to pave the road and now it's is gonna get appreciably. Quicker well I find. Finder metaphor to actually be surprisingly coach and -- done good work well I'm keeping it all together. Yeah this is this is the home stretch and it's really interesting to see how the schedule has has been put together I mean. Really if you if you think about it to me I I thought that the obvious part of the road for the Red Sox. Was this stretch that they just dialed again everyone thought clearly you know that this was going to be the point of exhaustion spending no more than four straight days. In any one place. And they got through that and pretty impressive in pretty impressive fashion. Even without their best starting pitcher. Well and if you look if we take a look back at those nineteen games sixteen of -- more on the route. Of that stretch probably the dice he says we look back at it. Really was to meet with the Houston Kansas City I thought that was where they played their worst. That was where you start thinking they're wearing down of the starting pitching isn't quite what it needs to be. Because this last West Coast trip in Francisco Los Angeles starting pitching -- off the charts. It was those are great parts to pitch him in fairness though that that should be observed there's a reason why the Giants and Dodgers perennial -- perennially feature two of the best rotations in the majors. If you pitch their knighted to very forgiving environment especially for a fly -- pitching staff like the Red Sox but. They were still really really -- and they looked like a team that could shut down. A lot of different minuses as hot as the Dodgers were they didn't look all that hot against the well 11 I think for the for the entire six games a 117 yeah. Yeah I was Bob Gibson ask he had a eggs exactly again for number 6177797937. HTT -- signed 37937. So we talk about thirty games ago -- in we're focusing on the Red Sox novels see what they have. They got a little bit of homestretch here before the go to Yankee Stadium they have three games in Tampa. We made a big deal earlier and earlier shows about they have a lot of games with the Orioles a lot of lot of games of the Yankees it's still remains the case. But we also looking at the race schedule. And the rays well documented one day off the rest the way. They today they had to go from Tampa -- Kansas City to play the game today which they got blown out other game and a half back now the go back to Tampa. Event after this coming series they have to go out on the West Coast albeit against teams that aren't that. Breast but it is dislocating and it is difficult to settle into just feeling good on the field when your bouncing around like that I mean to me like jarring around team. To basically make Oakland days seemed to hit roundtrip to and from Kansas City. From Tampa Bay that it is are raising this Wednesday me as bizarre they were like thirteen people -- the crowd -- metro resided to highlight and has. If there were there or more tumble weeds and there were fans they get. How are still in it right it's it's is demoralizing in the -- people -- or wanna know Jeremy. Alex and of this great group -- starting pitchers for the Tampa Bay Rays -- -- Jeremy Alex and was the one -- the bullet today did not do well at all so. Is that a crack and their armor they still -- very good starting pitching and I think well that's why they're going to be an Italian I mean it is interesting though right we have this idea of the rays having extraordinary starting pitching and really they they have had interest in depth but. You know Alex and Alex and has been -- You know he's been he's been a guy he has in our Chargers are down back down to earth a little bit and yeah I mean archer and cover both sub three ERA guys but they're different to meet you know if you look at that this story of the American League east is honestly probably going to be told. By based on how well the Red Sox have been and are able to withstand the absence. Of Clay Buchholz for a -- it's going to basically end up being about three months. Vs how well the rays are and were able to withstand the absences of David Price and Matt Moore. And to meet the Red -- direction exhibited you know surprise surprise. A greater ability to withstand the loss of the top of the rotation starter then after all that's that's what everyone jumps to which is. They say what is was the biggest concern for the reds as I think most people jumped the -- Colts but the reality is that. You have four starters who are arguably coming off their best starts of the year or at least close to it. You have four starts were pitching very very well and that's why they've been -- with stand what you're talking about. Where the rays yet they are okay but it seems to be more to hit when they lose price when they lose more absolutely but it isn't now you have buckle comprise and you -- -- -- -- New York yesterday thankfully in. And you saw Clay Buchholz pitched what did you -- I saw a guy who looked pretty much like he was throwing his first outing of spring training which is roughly what he was doing buckled after the fact. I've said something to the effect of it it felt like it had been two and a half months and I pitched -- which is about right. Well we got some zone from it you collected from Clay Buchholz this is what yet to set. That's. You know it's it's an art if you don't look forward to go to the phone. You know we feel awkward doing that let you know facing batters and -- courses conclude their position because a lot of teams so it's. There I'm not only one more would do it if -- get up and down -- the times -- Obviously you've -- fun destroys a little more often. Competent. It's up -- -- drop the energy and excitement of them yeah I was really well there was the -- -- pulsating with excitement when he made it through two thirds of an inning. And required -- and required 38 pitches and honored to support for united -- nineteen strikes. No swings and misses where you that was a celebratory two thirds of an innings that mean you could talk to him sooner it and at the right well I talked to him sooner enjoy a little bit of the game them in the stands with my wife and Saudia. And then hit the road about via fourth or fifth inning and and it hasn't spent too late -- -- This is the road to October that is obviously part of the road to October Alex managing minor league rehab stints with his the only in the stands. -- number 6177797937. HTT tech sign its 37937. Talk about Clay Buchholz and what are you gonna do is -- morph into -- something that I wrote today. Conversation about why did you should not worry. About the Red Sox doing what they did two years ago it was such an operation we understand that. That almost never happens giving did not doric yeah historic I mean it was the biggest collapse look for enclave the Clay Buchholz dynamic was part of that and how is that different. From what he went through 2011 because in case people forgot. Go to the end of the regular season that came in Baltimore people actually hanging their hats on. May be Clay Buchholz can give them a few innings after not having pitched since the middle of June. They activated him from the final day of the season and had him going out of the bullpen a role in which. He hadn't -- basically ever contributed he had a couple of relief outings. We remember in 2007. But not since then. Buckles was really uncomfortable with where he was that at the end of that year you would talk to him even a few days before they were making that decision do they activate him do they not. And he was like I don't really know I'm. I don't know anything about pitching out of the bullpen. This is a a position that you don't really try to seek out he was and he was a tough spot then whereas now. He's a pretty confident plays one of the things that was striking my conversation of buckled yesterday. Was we talked about how close how closely. His rehab to this point is aligned with what doctor James Andrews told him to expect yeah I know when when when he went to -- Pensacola. Lot of people gave him heat forced -- front of his locker. After the Red Sox kind of insinuated that it might you will be due for that. Will buckles look in front -- walker to doctor James Sanders said it was going to be four to five start probably right right and and he's and buckled said that it's basically been almost exactly what James Sanders it's admit he's kind of tracking towards. Towards you know maybe maybe 56 start something like that at the end of the season in the in the major leagues and so. He feels like he's physically exactly where he wants to be he feels like in terms of the build up to being the pitcher wants to -- he's exactly where it wants to be he feels like he's going to be. -- meaningful contributor now he's mindful of the fact that it's going to be difficult to sustain replicate nine you know what you are out ERA. Because he said I don't know if I ever thought I could do that over a sustained run in the major leagues. But he feels like he can be pretty damn close to that and for the Red -- that's obviously a promising sign assuming that he starts to take. Considerable steps forward. In the simulated games and rehab outings that are ahead. Yeah and in the I guess that what we takeaways in comparing it from two years ago is that there is a plan there isn't there are rushing in to getting Clay Buchholz back. And the reason why what the reasons why they felt like the had to do that you go back to 2011 was. That the starting pitching all the stuff the came out. The starting pitching was by far and away. The biggest problem -- that -- and just go through the numbers again it was on believable you my height six ER -- for the stars. -- starters averaging Ford two thirds innings you don't have one single starter with an ERA for the last thirty games which is where we're at now. Under 53. It was it was unbelievable looking yeah. They were staggeringly bad the rotation was staggeringly bad and that was kind of the pivot point for. For the for the views of some of the people in the organization of uh oh we have this kind of accumulated talent at the top but it -- and he. There's not -- beneath that so you know you kind of like hold one you you pull went in and all of a sudden the whole infrastructure collapses. That was that was the evidence of at the Red Sox have you know we've we've -- this how many many times yes they've moved from. The top heavy model to the depth model. That was what the Jake Peavy trade was motivated by yes I have a guy like Brandon Workman who's given them greater confidence greater security that they had back then they didn't have that 2011 and they -- And that's why we brought that up because you go you -- -- to what we're dealing with right now in the position they're in right now but I do wanna find out. From from listeners 6177797937. Is what is concerning you a couple of weeks ago we went through this what concerns you I think the top three -- Clay Buchholz. The number five hitter in the order in the bullpen. Are those still of the concerns 61777979837. AT -- decks on 379837. After this break. Alex is gonna tell you what concerns him the most. I want to finish -- I want to finish it against. Two through four you know I just it meant meant. That's up to -- defensive you know -- to. You know with the guys have a few nights are few days off in the bullpen coach you've used him for over an inning we got to keep those guys on that stretch. You know obviously a little more breathing room in an -- and many guys -- finished it out but it. I appreciate John given an opportunity. That is Jake Peavy after his complete game victory last night. Which reminds me a question for you Alex Red -- most public displays. Of expletives of any team in the league. Oh wow you have peavy you have Ortiz. With his flying beliefs. While five Columbia today. Yeah I'm trying to think if there's -- comfortably profane team and I they they have three very -- -- peavy is 01 of the guys in baseball known for is. Public displays of profanity which he has yet was not able to harness her for quite a great effort every reference it. Anyway this is the road to October show I'm rob Bradford of -- EI dot com this is Alex spear of the same organization. He texted in the AT&T Tex signed 379837. We get a couple good -- for a year. And I'll I'll just this to you Alex and -- don't worry I haven't forgotten what we talked about before your biggest concern. About heading into last thirty games this -- get it as to why people question his motivation. Does he have what it takes to be a stud. That's from the 41 Alex. I think that he understands that there is scrutiny gets that thrown his way that people questioned by his desire to be on the mound but I don't think that. I think that it's it's difficult for him to except that and he wants to he he wants people to well. Put it this way one of the things that he was very -- about yesterday it was Todd Matt how -- told them that the way in which you've been progressing and has a rehab have been counterproductive. That he was kind of taking one step forward and then taking two steps back for he went to Tennessee before he went down to see him that he had been. Kind of trying to push through the injury ends rather than just kind of like shutting down. And giving his body. Or the right kind of build up and so you know Buchholz was convinced that he wasn't going to be. Available that he was risking injury that was going to keep them unavailable down the stretch and he was convinced that he wasn't going to be as effective -- pitcher down the stretch as he could be. His priority that he's articulate -- the whole time has been to be 100% of his capability rather than just some. Some represented facsimile. Of his of himself at his best -- risking injury. And so I think that that's that's this year and and he he recognized at a certain point if you're losing the battle public perception. You just have to Wear that. Are they here I think he isn't aware of the the public perception and and everything that goes weighted by you right you have to. Do what's best for you in in his size and and as long as you can make those -- starts at the end it's -- -- and if doctor James Andrews the inventor of the human body -- -- did something to do it and that's why I thought that trip down to. -- -- ethical was a Burr less that's goals one that was so so important -- from the eighth excel in the AT&T that. Text line says -- is the biggest problem they have. Buckle is done for the season but management continue to hope for him to be strong composer and post season while he. As far as we know he's not done for the season. But leads me to my question for you Alex what is what should be right now the biggest concern -- the Red Sox heading into the last thirty games this. I do think that there is considerable uncertainty about exactly what they'll get back from Clay Buchholz because again you know you're getting guys back. Who hasn't pitched in so long that it's difficult to know where will be in terms of his rhythm for the season. I still think he's going to be healthy when he comes back which gives you a pretty good baseline what I don't know and I still don't have a good fuel for. Is their bullpen situation I don't have a good feel for what they do. In the late innings right now we know that John -- trusts could coach you how to. A lot with good reason he's unbelievable yet he has given up a run since since he'll start since like the stone age you've been unbelievable. -- agents -- I was obviously some -- -- going to lean on I think that you know his stuff isn't what it was last year or so. It he's someone who you have to invest that trust and even though I don't think the you have the certainty that you did a year ago that he's going to be able to dominate. I think that you investor complete trust in -- in Craig Breslow because. He has the track record over a number of years that says you should be which other way for lefties in the bullpen right now I should be noted -- -- reverse splits. Better against. And against right he's -- he's got he's not been dominant against either side of the plate either by any stretch the imagination he's a full inning guy but he's not a guy he's he doesn't have dominant stuff right now he's a really good pitcher who's been very effective but I don't feel like his stuff this year has been what it wasn't previous year. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- What concerns you the most -- optimistic heading into last thirty games of the season. What also concerns me Alex is exactly what you're talking about I look at the bullpen and I've said this for the last few months Brandon Workman is such a key guys there and as you still don't have a feel for how they're using him and I know that John -- really likes. I know they wanna lean on him another probably will lean on him but there hasn't been those moments where OK here's the eighth inning. If rated -- time is still been a little the long relief. It's been a little the sixth inning relief appearances. And other than that appearance in Houston he's done a good job. By it but this. Guy they need this guy to be good. They do and they they don't as you say they don't know exactly what they have enemies on the appeared in five games the month of August since since the acquisition of peavy. His of opponents line is and again and staggered by one really bad outing. But he he hasn't he hasn't been overpowering -- such imagination 326 opposing batting average. 383 opposing on base percentage 535 opponents' slugging percentage. He's he's pitched in only five games in the entire month of August so you know good luck in terms of figuring out exactly what warmed up or. The other day didn't get in the game obviously the stars in the bullpen a huge break and a series him and against the Dodgers. But it was also interesting comment that John Ferrell made when they're talking about the four lefties in the bullpen and he came -- say Drake Britton is low leverage guy. Which has some of this was not the case about a week and a half ago right. Up until -- yankees series Drake Britton was being brought him in some the most important times of the game he hadn't been exposed in a situation where he could fail and the Yankees were the first team that was getting a second look at him and that's a lot different you know when you have when you're facing guys who have a pretty good book on you they've seen you -- in person. And all of a sudden he looked like a much different pitcher than he did. In that really compelling start to his not to screw that established -- to have. Almost immediately that's again -- role and he has numbers in double -- -- one of the reasons I think that they identified him so quickly as he can help us at the Major League level against left handers -- numbers and don't play against left handers were extremely extremely give it comes out of the gate gets in some big outs for them. But now you look at it still both lefties and -- both hitting over 300 against him. It is is nothing against Great Britain this is the progress as you said. That when you have teams seeing you for a second time the dynamic changes and it's been bad in the month of August he's been six appearances for fourteen opposing batting average four point 25 -- BP. Six as sixth when he won slugging mark so. So he's been roughed up pretty well on the half dozen starts he's made not so when you look at what the Red Sox could potentially -- at the waiver trade deadline which is the end of this month. Yeah of five days ago really. Until this deadline and I talked to a source today said the Red Sox are not close on any deal that don't -- to go. I can make any deals but and right now as we sit here they're not close on any deals what you would think that they might be identifying. Is another bullpen arm another probably veteran bullpen -- they can we handled it more fair to say. Yes and that's exactly the type of commodity that almost never makes it through the way I lessons at -- the Billy -- scenario awaits where it's where you have to take on a lot of money in order to get back guy yet -- so when we look at what the Red Sox to do as someone on Twitter and he'd reach me on Twitter. At Brad -- reach Alex on Twitter at Alex spear. Chris Johnson on Twitter says oh talked about players who were -- waivers where they might be interested and he brings up Justin Morneau well. Just Renault Paul Comerica you hear these names. And this is why stated their rugby identifying a bullpen arm because. You look at morneau for instance number one the twins are gonna give more know every -- and to put. If they ever want to trade him to go to the place we want to if you want to be traded all. Number two. Just -- though isn't an upgrade right now over what the half. Yeah that's that's a time when I mean defensively he's probably an upgrade over as a left handed compliment over the over the Karp slash -- component of the Red Sox. First base for a patient. But nonetheless in terms of offense he he just he's not the guy who we know from the to go Wilkes Alan Casey Kotchman was released by the Marlins gap and it's it's an interesting thing to think about only in the sense but Casey Kotchman can this coming in play. But if you're looking for the really really good defense the first base Doug Mientkiewicz exactly. That you don't have right now that you did it now placed on a pretty good job at first base that has not back as has car. But the defense of lockdown first baseman you'll have that. I hope that that don't take a stab at Casey Kotchman but it's something interesting to think about. You have they would need in order to get that guy would have to be some with greater positional versatility was capable of being the first baseman probably like. Outfielder off of the bench and -- Kotchman is landlocked first. The ATP tax -- 37937. Again if you would -- tell us what you're concerned. -- -- Heading into the last thirty games which as I point out early and show the last thirty games in 2011 would really be jumping off point it was. Jumping off of what round it was where they gave up the free headphones -- there as they said there will be no head phones needed. To be delivered to the distributed throughout the clubhouse this time around. But big game at the free headphones to remember because there's this controversy about playing this double header against Oakland because the hurricane was coming and big to do that started the the slide. Is it was pushed along at about six days later when they had the ill advised beating Toronto after the blowout win so we know all that. Ball what I'm saying is that. Thirty games ago. It's a good time to reflect on what happened two years ago in what is happening right now. Right that is the point where things unraveled then but it you know this is a team that is I really well positioned in part because of that schedule. They can line up a lot of things I mean they can go with a four man rotation and have a very well resisted rotation. Going down the stretch they can really had a pick and choose how they get buckled -- they can almost seven with like a piggyback start of the big league level think about this. If you're trying to get you know let's -- you give -- to one more rehab start you and then you think OK maybe is only able to go for. In his first Major -- -- no problem Ryan Dempster can take last five. In that -- so there and a and a pretty good spot in terms of -- in terms of how the schedule is is shaping up for them going. Yet you keep Lester healthy keep peavy healthy Lackey abroad. You keep him going the way he has after that little bit of a downturn that's the most important thing that you can juggle the dumpster buckles dynamic. The putting Dempster against the White Sox looked up some of their splits against the whites like. -- he's he's he's had some success against him not over overwhelming but still dropping a man against a team it's it's not. -- it's not the like the Yankees or something along those lines so like you said they can planned accordingly. 6177797937. We -- talk about the other two parts that were brought up a couple weeks ago which work. Perceived as the biggest concerns heading down the road to October which were the number five hitter. And August we are talked about Buchholz and in the bullpen. But the other one was the number five hitter and specifically Mike Napoli. Doubt in my which is a fascinating fascinating thing I think hugely important guy when we look at what's gonna transpire. Where do do that right after this break. Napoli waiting on another 32 for Brandon League. -- -- -- Swing and high blood won't forget about this one big dilemma. Big men of the night way way back in and did into the pavilion but still run maybe at home run. When Mike Napoli. -- -- -- -- -- It took the words patio. Caddie Dobie have a glass of the road -- October. Steam rolling. What planet Mikey -- planet Mikey with a great Mike Adams John Riders there would be. Hold cast of characters. Coming up the top of the IR for now I'm rob Bradford WEEI dot com that's Alex -- right next to me. Also of WEEI dot com and where diving trade into the road to October. And -- thirty games ago we talked right before the break Alex about one of the keys. I think. We've talked about the British. Sweet -- sweet -- -- yeah -- love trees there's a love it if if I kick it milk -- and movie theater. -- -- And I -- Cumberland farms well sneaky right and so before -- you the break we talked about some of the concerns we talked about clay buckles when he's gonna do we talked about the ball and and the other concern that was -- right when we start the show a couple weeks ago with the number five hitter in the line. Now that was Mike Napoli. Now Mike Napoli has got to move around him down the seventies and clean up for Dave Ortiz wherever he's hitting. That was one of the most encouraging things to come out of this recent series and Alex. To me it just makes that line it sets a different dynamic. When Mike Napoli is hitting. Well I think it Napoli has kind of been a secondary component to me to milk to will middle Brooks. What favorite with the bearing was the right handed down bright young and Mel Brooks has come back in despair and he's looked a lot like the guy play with a lot more confidence right -- a noticeably yeah out once it's not it's such a strange game right but like when he had like his Jose Iglesias style it's. They were finding holes in the first. Week or so of of of his column this time around as opposed to every time he hit the ball hard it was right at someone. You can it just relax him at the plate to the point where all of a sudden he started seeing that natural ability come out that ability to just rushed the ball. From one foul pole to another and to -- middle Brooks has been has been a huge change the dynamic lineup is that you when you look at the number of walks that he's had which is. Really striking -- I broke his jump on that Friday just playing with a lot as I said before playing with a lot more confidence. But and I agree we GM -- Brooks is that added a different dynamic to this lineup by. With Napoli them and then once he presents and we talked about confidence. You can see after the -- three game the other night and then you watch him hit. And yes the competency has and shortening up strokes I don't know if you noticed this. Also choked up a little bit on the bat when he hit the home run last night as well the next best thing -- to going to are shorter pat Patriot well I don't know I wouldn't believe the wherever -- -- pleading with -- -- I have conflicting reports on if you -- that -- not return but we do know that he has choked up a little bit. Regardless it's about as he points out it's about getting his foot down and getting his timing down. And not this flailing away at the ball -- on every pitch as he was before. Looked like a different type hitter last couple games yeah out. He he is obviously a legitimate middle of the order presence someone who combines those traits of their so desperate for patience and power. Jonny Gomes it should be noted was also kind of an impact right hander so over the course of this road trip. They have legitimate contributions from all three of those guys. That have been pretty much absent for a goodly chunk of August now did they they also dodged some bullets here they didn't get Clayton Kershaw. They didn't get Madison -- so they claim they avoided some of the elite left handers it's going to be interesting to see. Next time they're facing the kind of David Price caliber lefty what happens but. -- visit there were some very promising signs for the Red Sox in terms of what they were getting from from that trio whether you think to Napoli was the most important whether -- Yeah I don't -- I don't know yet I don't know if that was the most import I just know that the lineup takes on a -- new dimension when he's hitting like he was in April. And and two parts of -- and the other history of being hot down the stretch twelve and and that's the thing is that we look at we look at how good he was in -- Monday. And we look at how bad he was in the other months and then leading into about last week yourself I mean I know -- he sat out games but. I think it was in Toronto yes it was it's fraud though the he started that. Seemed a little bit more -- for the plate more contact more production. And as you pointed out Alex. This has happened before with where he's gotten on -- in the second half that is helped carry teams now. He has literal -- on on those teams like he has this game but still he's gone on -- Bears. Yeah I'm just I'm just looking at desire to. History last year with the Rangers for instance when. Through he was injured from. Up from early August through early September so hitting 223 with a 343 on base percent and four from nine slugging mark through the -- have -- missed about a month. Came back on September 15. Boom hits a homer in that first game down the stretch over the course of the last sixteen games he had seven home runs so the power comes in bunches over that time. 255 average reported five OBP that's what we're accustomed to with him but with a 706. Slugging percentage you have to account for that if you're an opposing. -- -- -- Speaking of accounting for this leads us to what we were talking about oh come back to a three things that we identified a couple of weeks ago bullpen. -- called number five hitter we talked about Napoli. In light is Napoli so important is because of that five spot if you could ever potentially move up there then. If he produces like you're talking about it does add a different dimension to this lineup because. Terse local markets haven't really did a year really got a dominant great August right away as a play in contrast during his typical state of the last couple of both extra base hits of -- American League catcher up. And third most of any catcher in the in the major leagues. So you have him you have to -- novel when he gets cut by the way deal novice numbers when he does play first base and he over 400 -- I don't know if there's any correlation that. But this something to note. But still this is what Napoli was supposed to beat -- was supposed to be that guy protect David Ortiz. And for the first time in a while we're seeing David Ortiz not really getting pitched around in the last in his last eight games no intentional walks and had been awhile since we've seen that and he's only walked three times now. That does coincide with appeared in which Ortiz hasn't actually himself and hitting all that well. He's batting 188 whip like a 438 slugging mark over that time so maybe he's a little bit out of rhythm to the point where. Opposing teams are little more comfortable challenging him. Derosa seeing at the same time there's other guys in the lineup. Offering a greater threat I eat protection the day and we know the play turf the played their fresh he argues with Napoli is going to be a problem -- -- if you. If you're -- to like he has the last few games and you're able to do what he had done in the last few games you don't worry about that we talk about depth. And that's also leads to the conversation how their position we we'd set early in the show that their position very well especially compared to. How they weren't 2011. But across the board they've been able to manage these players well enough so all of a sudden. You have four starters who just gave amongst their best outings of the year you have the ability to manager Dave Ortiz you bill lead a major. Mike Napoli. And what texture on the eighteenth he tacks on 37937. Says. Basically how we noticed. That an uptick in Jon Lester velocity lately and is this one the reason for his success but I. Alex would you look at Jon Lester coming out the all star break to me right out of the gate when he got those few extra days it does it seem like he's stuff was a little bit. From before the break and John -- has talked about that quite a bit I agree I do think that we've seen you know we've seen more power from him we've seen you know kind of better swing and -- rates from him which. His even when he was good at the start of the season he wasn't striking out a ton of guys this wasn't. You know this was not 2008 to 2011 Jon Lester being kind of just overpowering and I I think that we're seeing. Where we're just seeing those strikeout numbers the ability to finish opposing hitters are coming back a little bit -- the strikeout numbers are by no means overwhelming but. You know it just the -- accused. But you don't was the thing is go back and ours is go back horrific you -- bad -- bad start -- decision and and a roar of the conversation after that no I'm sorry it was a bad start. But that the results were okay but it with the image of what Jon Lester was the narrative voice well you know this is what it is. The it's not the same Jon Lester -- if you had earlier in year is more closer to that stuff -- gotten. Noticeably better I think he's relied on his cutter because that's one of the things also. When he was coming back at the all star game. He went to not throwing his cutter deep in the counts right he was he would change -- yet he was flipping. His repertoire on it's on its theory which is going to different group. Now if you look at the last couple games he's gone back to back cutter more and what that tells me is that he feels better about this stuff. -- the power again getting to the power because the the -- a power pitcher it's one that you won a Bay Area on the hands of an opposing hitter and you have no margin for error. If you're throwing it hard enough of that has enough action and life. Lester feels like he's back in that place and you know and really were looking at seven starts over which the results suggest as much 2.3 one ERA in the second half. That Alex spear the BI -- -- -- rob Bradford of the same organizations as the road to October to -- -- in a phone call 617779. 7937. AT&T Tex signed 37937. Few more minutes beat before we get to -- great. Mike Adams the great planet Mikey show. Alex we talked about what is your concerns the last thirty games what are you most optimistic about in terms of I don't know. This what do you think that this is gonna get the Red Sox to where. They want ago how they traveled down the road however show that was it will be -- -- Ride for them and if so will they have the right tires on the car they. What will Hydro plane right there. What is the most optimistic that it might be the schedule we talked earlier in the show about the schedule. About the rays having one day off about having the West Coast trip. The Red Sox have what they have now five days off still yeah I war I but see. And they have a -- available but yeah I have my what are we right now and more impact and some weeks they have many more home games that needs it certainly did in August. Via the the fly in the ointment for the Red Sox for the schedule. -- you still to play Detroit. Did team obviously you play the rays on the road this could be big series. And you also have played Orioles team I think that you had a hard time now they've dip lately. But it had a hard time with them this season and you also have to play the play the Yankees Orioles yankees -- -- seven times -- But why it -- is the schedule what makes you feel most optimistic that the Red Sox -- -- end up where they wanted to. Yes to me that is clearly -- because Steve -- out there and a great position in terms of roster management now that that advantage is muted a little bit by the fact that it's coming in September. When other teams have the advantage of expanded rosters and so there are able to kind of you know Terry to kind of avoid overuse you would think. Of but different components of their club but as we saw in September 2011 sometimes roster management even. Even even in that time can be challenging so. -- before we hit the road the road to the further going down further down the road to October. Who in your mind are going to be a September call because the next time we talk Alex next Monday six clock. The September call will most likely have happened depending obviously on. Putt that you play -- run and so forth and so on what your mind are going to be added to this roster for the stretch drive. Clearly brought COLT he's the only second baseman on the forty man roster to back up Pedroia so to me he's the most obvious which might not be that obvious and beyond him I think you're going to see -- Della Rosa backup as young as he can be. I'm not sure -- they bring up Jackie Bradley immediately or not they may well just because of victory you know management you know and -- trying to get him why not a merely there. Because because his role might be a little bit of -- he might he might do well to kind of get hot stay hot down in the minor leagues. They'll need a catcher so they'll go -- boulevard where route or the did Butler to him but it's been excellent he's on the -- -- -- are probably probably LeBron -- but. It was a good catch and throw dialogue -- I'm in a hole all those predictions. To. A week from that today. Will those players be on the team it's another thing to look forward to that's a professional tees. A week blog to my house. Well people -- -- suspended animation instead fun out there really is a lot of fun thanks for joining us -- things for things and -- at paradise you for joining us because it's your show as well so that's the road to October will be back next Monday coming up on WEEI Sports Radio the great. Mike Adams on the always always -- But it might.

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