Nothing good happened at Fenway Park Tuesday night as the Detroit Tigers defeated the Boston Red Sox 7-2. Tim Wakefield just didn't have it, giving up 4 runs in the 3rd inning. The Tigers never looked back.....they didn't have to. Justin Verlander changed speeds all night, hitting 99 MPH on a few fastballs while mixing in his off-speed stuff. The Sox batters were off balance. Case closed. Signed, sealed and delivered. The Tigers win! As our Big Papi put it, and this is from the Herald, with thanks....
“You don’t see a power pitcher (Verlander) with that kind of stuff every day,” designated hitter David Ortiz said. “This guy can pop 96, 97 (mph) like it’s nothing and when he wants, he can throw 100. And then he has an 86 mph change. That’s what makes him so good, the way he can change speeds."
Peter here, and Verlander uses the changes of speed so well. And that is one of the most effective weapons a pitcher can have. With smarts, a mix of movement and changes of pitch speed, the results can and will always be devastating.
The upcoming New York Yankee series, which looms ever larger as the days go by, is coming up so soon, a matter of days. We saw another Sox starter go down. JD Drew slammed his lower back into the upper part of the rightfield wall, the part of the wall without padding. He is day to day. Even the 'pen was porous. At least it was when Donnelly was pitching. He gave up 3 hits and 2 earned runs in two thirds of an inning. But the game was already lost before he entered the game. Kyle Snyder finished things up, and after the Sox went down in the bottom of the 9th, I said to myself......."turn the page." Done.
Tonight it's Maroth versus Tavarez. I know that Jon Lester cannot return soon enough. But the Sox are in fine shape at 26-12 with a nice 8 game bulge over their hated rivals, the Yankees. The season marches on, and we march right along with it. Night Fenway baseball......it doesn't get any better. And click on the title of this post for a little something on Julian Tavarez's dwindling days as a member of the Sox rotation. Have a great Hump Day as we hope for better things tonight!