Top Of The Order Powers Sox
On a night that the Boston Red Sox and the Fenway Park crowd saluted a 2004 championship season hero, it was power from the top of the batting order and rock steady pitching by Julian Tavarez that catapulted the home team to a 10-2 drubbing of the San Francisco Giants.
Something special was in the air as Dave Roberts strode to the plate to begin the game. The crowd rose as one to salute him, and the players and manager stood on the top step of the home dugout and did the same. My eyes grew misty as I watched the spectacle as memories of that key stolen base flashed through my mind. What a way to start a Friday night of baseball! And the Sox sported a new-look lineup, with JD Drew and Dustin Pedroia batting in the one and two spots. Together they combined to go 8 for 9. The rest of the club? Would you believe 1-24? I kid you not, but the 10 runs scored by the good guys were by far the most in recent memory. Let's hope they saved some runs for the rest of the weekend.
Julian Tavarez settled down after allowing 2 first inning runs. He was rock steady through 7 as he solidified his hold on the number 5 spot in the rotation. Said ex-teammate Barry Bonds........
"He looks a lot calmer as a starter than coming out of the bullpen all wired up," said Bonds, Tavarez's teammate in San Francisco in the late 1990s. "He looked a lot calmer and knew what he wanted to do out there. You could see it in his delivery. You could see it in his face. He just was more focused."
Peter here. The bullpen finished off the Giants, as the Darkman breezed through a 1-2-3 8th inning and Joel Piniero finished things up. Coupled with the Yankees' loss to the Mets, the AL East lead grew to 8 1/2 games, and with Tom Glavine pitching for the Mets today, that lead might widen further. The Fenway pitching matchup features Daisuke Matsuzaka going against the Giants' Matt Cain, as the Red Sox hope to increase their AL East lead. Catch it on Fox in a nationally televised 3:30 duel. This morning, finally, a sense of relief has washed over RSN. Fleeting, just a hint, a taste, but sweet nonetheless. More please!
Click on the title of this post for more on the Friday night performance by Julian Tavarez, penned by the Boston Herald's Steve Buckley. Great reading. And everyone, thanks for stopping in. Have a wonderful weekend.