A little change in his pitching mechanics, suggested by his batterymate Doug Mirabelli, did wonders, as Tim Wakefield was superb for 8 innings. And after the Colorado Rockies scored their lone and lonely run to tie it in the 8th inning at 1, the Red Sox, as they have done all season, got mad and came right back in the bottom of the frame to score the tie-breaking run on a Pedroia single, a Big Papi almost home run, his third hit of the night, and a sacrifice fly by JD Drew. After that, Wakes handed the ball to Tito, and Tito handed it to Jonathon Papelbon. GAME OVER. Case closed. SOX WIN! Automatic! Paps is one of the biggest and best reasons why the Sox are such a dangerous team. It almost wasn't fair to see him buzzing 97MPH fastballs past the Colorado batters after they were baffled and befuddled by Timmy's offerings. I couldn't help but smile. No nervous anything in the ninth makes things fun in the late innings, and we are so lucky to have him right there, in the role that he was born for.
The hitting woes continue for Julio Lugo, bumped down to the bottom of the order, and Coco Crisp, who batted eighth, but they're only the two most glaring offenders. Too many times lately our Red Sox lineup makes the opposing pitcher look like Cy Young. And sometime, it's going to catch up with us. On the other hand, if they can find the hitting strokes currently missing and score 4 to 6 runs a game, coupled with the superb pitching that's not going anywhere, watch out American League. Watch out Major League Baseball itself! So a little patience at the plate, a few timely hits every other inning, and leave it to the bullpen to shut 'em down. As it has all year. Stand-outs are Brendan Donnelly, the Darkman, Hideki Okajima, who has come out of the shadows and is getting as much press in Japan as his buddy Daisuke, and I know this because I hear from my Japanese readers, who call Hideki the Darkman, much more than the scribes and fans do here, and Paps, the elite closer of the league. A formula for success?? Oh yes!
Tonight it's Curt Schilling, looking for a successful follow-up to his historic last start, facing the Rockies' Fogg. The Red Sox are 41-22, and it would be so great to go 20 games over .500. 7pm tonight, at the Fens. And with Josh Baseball going tomorrow, a win tonight makes the possibility of a sweep so attainable. And with the Yankees so hot, every win is important. There's a lot of season left.
Thanks for reading, and click on the title of this post for more on Timmy's huge and wonderful effort, from the Globe. As always, thanks for being here.