Last week, Paul Byrd gave us more power than we could have possibly imagined when he inexplicably out dueled Doc Halladay. Last night, he fell back to Earth, looking more like a guy who’s spent most of the year pitching to Little Leaguers or working the counter at Denny’s. In just two and one-third innings, the Byrd gave up 10 hits and seven runs–not exactly the kind of stuff that’s gonna have us drooling to see him in “playoff mode.”
In the course of a season, you’re going to have games like these. The ones where it’s over by the third inning and all you can do is walk away and set your sights on tomorrow’s game. But as October edges closer, it’s not exactly comforting to know we may well be fighting for our lives to make the Wild Card. Even though I’m calling us a lock.
That said, with all these reclamation projects and dollars being thrown at the likes of Byrd and Smoltz and Penny and Gonzo, I still wish we’d brought back lil’ Petey. Watching him turn it on for seven innings earlier this week–even though it is in the National League–I couldn’t help but wonder why we didn’t take a chance on him. I understand that, as Thomas Wolfe explained, you can’t go home again. There’s some history between Martinez and Sox management that isn’t all sugar sweet. There’s the question of where, exactly, he’d fit in (though my response to that would be, “Right behind Beckett and Lester, unless you’ve got anyone more reliable.”). He’s got baggage. He’s got question marks. You don’t want to muddy up the good memories if he tanks it in his return.
But we’ve gambled a lot more than two million bucks on far, far worse adventures. And a little Vintage Pedro–the guy who showed up for that last start against the Giants–wouldn’t be a bad thing to have on the shelf.