I have a confession to make: I wasn't as optimistic about the Smoltz deal as I should have been, and it's not because I hadn't looked into the future hard enough to see his Five Innings of Check-Swing Fury. Basically I did the same thing that ninety percent of baseball bloggers first signed up at Wordpress to rail against: I heard all the concerns about his terrible ERA in Boston, I remembered, brilliantly, that he was a) old and b) coming off shoulder surgery, which is Bad, and I...
Friends, I made up my mind (I'll be ambivalent! I decided) without checking his Baseball-Reference page. To all the heartbroken newsies standing outside my house, I can only say: "Yes, kid, I'm afraid it's so. I'm sorry."
Really, though—I can understand why the Red Sox Had To Make This Move, in sportswriter parlance; he was their mid-season "You know, it really is" reinforcement, he was supposed to make an immediate impact, and instead he had one good start in eight. He is really old, and he is coming off shoulder surgery, and he did nothing to reverse their slide further behind the Yankees.
But if you have to pick one thing to stretch out of that small sample size... is it going to be the 4.13 K:HR ratio, or the 3.67 K:BB ratio?
If you missed it, like me, here's video of the strikeouts. It might just be because the pitch isn't thrown very often, but that splitter looks remarkable.
I've got a real post due up in the afternoon that is more standard off-day fare: a look at the guys who are, at this very moment, locked in a pitched battle to make up spots 20-30 on next year's prospect lists, inspired by official VEB pet tools goof Tommy Pham. But I got home a bit late to finish formatting tables.