Thursday, September 02, 2004
It is somewhat understandable that Tito called on Timlin in the seventh. He was warming up when the Sox were only up by four and Anaheim’s offense was clicking with one of the best pens in the game. Perhaps, Timlin had to come into the game after an extended period in the pen getting loose, but he did not need to start the eighth inning.
The Sox were up by six runs going into the bottom half of the eighth. Both Leskanic and Embree had at least two days off in a row. Since they came into the game, the duo was healthy and available. It was a near perfect spot for Leskanic to work two innings with Embree as the safety net. As we know, Tito stuck with Timlin.
Timlin has now pitched in back-to-back games, his outings are always of the high stress variety (throwing nearly all heaters), and the club does not have a scheduled day off anytime soon. Put it all into a pot and stir, and Walhalla - Timlin is likely unavailable tonight. With Foulke’s availability iffy or day-by-day, there was no reason to use your second most reliable reliever up by six and with only six outs required for the win. Tito may have made a critical error during this all important nine game stretch.
One other tidbit, Nixon should be activated on Sunday after a three day rehab assignment. The timing is perfect. He serves his three game suspension Sunday – Tuesday. Two of the three scheduled starters are southpaws (Zito and Redman on Monday and Tuesday). Hopefully, Nixon will be ready to face the Beantown Bar Brawler, Tim Hudson, on Wednesday. I want four more WINS – boys.