Joel Hanrahan, the new closer for the Red Sox, scares me.
Before I forget.
Huh? Forget what? Actually, that’s the title of the song that Hanrahan chooses as his intro. In case you don’t know it, don’t worry. Most fans at Fenway don’t. It’s by Slipknot. Came out in 2004 and named by AOL (AOL??) as one of the top ten metal songs of the 00’s. For what that’s worth.
As we hit the top of the 9th it comes on the Jumbotron, nice and loud, as we see a black-and-white shot of Hanrahan that morphs into a graphic that says, “The Hammer.” Yeah, he puts the hammer down, man. You can’t touch this. Except that they seem to touch it a lot.
It’s supposed to make us forget the crowd singing along with “Shipping Up to Boston” by the Dropkicks while Papelbon high-fives the cop in the bullpen and sprints to the edge of the infield dirt.
Here’s the problem.
It’s overdone for a guy who has yet to pitch well at Fenway. Hanrahan has had three appearances in the Friendly Confines, and yes, the Red Sox have won two of those three despite the shaky performance of Hanrahan.
He’s gone a total of 1.2+ innings, meaning he didn’t get through his one inning of duty in two of the three games (he got 3 outs on Monday, only two on Wednesday, and none today). In that time he’s given up six runs on three home runs (two solos and a 3-run), a double, a single, four walks and a run-scoring save-blowing wild pitch. Fourteen batters, nine base runners, six of them scoring, while retiring only five. That’s not The Hammer, that’s the guy getting hammered.