With regard to Curt Schilling, the Red Sox are still waiting for consistency. Schilling, meanwhile, is still searching for it.
Along with an entirely new identity.
If you've ever heard Tony Maz talk, you know how whiny his voice is. It's by far the worst voice on WEEI to listen to. When I read these first two paragraphs, I imagined him trying to make his voice deeper for the second paragraph, to add to the drama. Then I imagine the "dun dun" sound from Law & Order. It makes it so much better when you read it that way.
Continuing his attempted metamorphosis from power pitcher extraordinaire to veteran craftsman, Schilling allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings of the Red Sox’ 6-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays last night. But what will officially go down as a quality start left something to be desired, particularly during a fifth inning that began with the Sox holding a 1-0 lead and ended with them trailing, 3-1.
Was this written in 2005? I don't recall Schill being a "power pitcher extraordinaire" for a couple of years now. Much like Roger Clemens, with age Schilling has had to adapt to a loss in velocity over the past couple of seasons. At his peak, 2001-2003, Schilling was striking out more than 10 per 9 innings, a remarkable figure. Since then, however, he's been barely over 8. While still a very solid number, 8 doesn't put him in "power pitcher extraordinaire" territory.
Still, there continues to be some sign that Schilling may be able to sufficiently adapt so that he can be the potential postseason presence the Red Sox are hoping for. In his last three starts, Schilling has allowed just six earned runs in 19 innings, a 2.84 ERA that is more than anything the Sox could reasonably ask for.
Small sample size alert! Yes, these are good numbers, but it's 3 starts! And of those 3 starts, 2 came against weak offensive teams in the Chicago White Sox (the worst team in the AL), and the Toronto Blue Jays. The White Sox have scored 592 runs this season, 45 fewer than the next-to-last team. Toronto has scored 642, fewer than the Orioles(!). They are right there at the bottom of the AL. It would have behooved Tony Maz a little more to point out how well Schill pitched in Yankee Stadium, a 7 inning, 2 runs, 1.00 WHIP start reminiscent of 2004. But because the Sox didn't provide any offense and they lost, Tony Maz doesn't point this out. I think that game was one of his best of the season.
But with October rapidly approaching, Schilling has grander goals in mind. In his accomplished career, after all, Schilling has a postseason record of 8-2.
“You want to be sure they can count on you,” he said.
And to do that, he must be able to count on himself first.