Under The Weather
The Boston Red Sox were literally under the weather last night in Texas. The game was delayed close to two hours by rain, and then winning pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka was forced to leave after 5 innings due to nausea. He was put on IV fluids after his aborted start and is doing fine. And so are the Red Sox. They came back and won this game 10-6 and are showing signs that the minor hitting slump is over and done with. Caput. Finito. Bye bye. So long. Farewell. And that spells trouble for the rest of the league. This, from the Courant, explains how Daisuke "toughed it out" after his early bout of queasiness........
"I felt very good coming out of my warmup in the bullpen," said Matsuzaka, who received intravenous fluids after his outing. "I was looking forward to pitching this game. But all of a sudden, I didn't feel too well. I tried my best to take the team as deep into the game as possible. I regret that I ended up being a burden to my teammates today."
The Red Sox scored four runs in the second off Brandon McCarthy, then tagged Frank Francisco for four more in the sixth to take a 10-5 lead.
But it was two runs off Wes Littleton (0-1, 4.50) in the fifth that proved decisive, as the Red Sox immediately erased a 5-4 deficit created after Matsuzaka's lone rough inning.
The fourth inning has not been kind to Matsuzaka at times this season, and Friday night was one of them. What made this five-run meltdown different is that Matsuzaka maintained control of the strike zone. The problem was, the Rangers were rocketing strikes all over the ballpark.
"I think it was a strong battle, given the fact of the way he was reacting on the mound in the second inning, with the onset of the nausea," Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell said. "There was no sign of it pregame. In the bottom of the second, you could see it coming on."
Peter here. Way to hang in there and earn a victory, wasn't it? The bullpen took over and held the hard-hitting Rangers to one run from the 6th inning onward, as Lopez, Donnelly, the Darkman and Paps in a non-save situation allowed their team to storm back with 2 runs in the 5th and 4 more in the 6th. It was smooth sailing from there. Kevin Youkilis had 2 hits, and that extended his hitting streak to a career-high 17 games. Papi and Manny also had 2-hit games.
The Sox, with the victory, ran their record to 32-15, the best in baseball and 10 1/2 games better than the Yankees, who again lost. The blame for their latest loss rests squarely in the hands, or arms, of their bullpen, and it is said that Brian Cashman is on the hot seat. Such is baseball life in New York City, soap-opera style. Things are much rosier in Boston. And that's just fine with me. Tim Wakefield will try and continue his team's winning ways. He goes against the Ranger's Padilla tonight at 8:05. We'll be ready.
Click on the title for more on the game, and I want to wish each and every one of you a happy and healthy holiday weekend. And remember what this Memorial Day holiday stands for as we give thanks to all those, past and present, who have served their country well. We're proud of you.