Two And Out
13 innings, many of them with plenty of chances to score. Too many to mention, in fact. But after Big Papi's 2 run home run in the first inning, nothin'. A big fat string of twelve zeros. The Detroit starter Bonderman settled down and pitched through the eighth, while Kason Gabbard, in the rotation until Schill returns, was just great, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing only two runs. He'll be fine until Curt is healthy. But the Tigers scored the winning run off Jonathon Papelbon in the thirteenth inning, and it was finally over (see below). Outpitched? Yes, but by the barest of margins. A clutch hit and there would have been a different ending. But such is baseball. And with the Red Sox 20 games over .500 at 53-33, there's nothing to worry about. Not one darn thing. But it sure would be nice to win this afternoon, and we have our most consistant hurler on the mound. Daisuke Matsuzaka will try to take his team to the All Star break the right way---with a win. And going against him is the Tiger's Nate Robertson, who happens to be the weakest link of the Detroit rotation. It up to Daisuke. This is from the Boston Herald....
"The times have been few this season that Daisuke Matsuzaka has been called upon to be a stopper.
That job typically has fallen upon Curt Schilling or Josh Beckett. Matsuzaka has only pitched three times following a loss in his 17 starts to date, going 1-1 with a no-decision and a 3.60 ERA.
More to the point, we haven’t really seen him come in to halt a losing skid, or avoid embarrassment. He hasn’t had to stop the bleeding when another team is about to sweep the Sox. But that’s his mission today."
Peter here, and I'm sure he knows his mission...he ALWAYS DOES. He'll be out there to stop the mini-skid in Detroit. Click on the title of this post for more on last night's final at bat, when Pudge Rodriguez' drive was only inches away from the outstetched glove of the diving Coco Crisp. In fact, I just this second saw the replay of that drive by Pudge, and yes, it was a matter of inches. But so is the game of baseball itself.
Remember, my readers, we still have an eleven game lead in the AL East......maybe twelve after today. My fingers are crossed. But we are in great shape, our Sox getting healthier with the three day break looming. Everyone, enjoy your Sunday, and thanks, as always, for being here. I couldn't do this without you....ever.