Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Edge Of Seventeen

Josh Beckett earned his 17th victory by pitching eight great innings. His only mistake was a belt high changeup to Matt Stairs, who hit it out for a three run home run in the fifth. But he settled down until it was time for Jonathon Papelbon, and Paps shut the door on the Blue Jays, needing only seven pitches to earn his 33rd save. It was the Red Sox' 4th win in a row.

The hitting star was Jacoby Ellsbury, who had three hits and was only a double away from the cycle. In the last three games he is 8 for 12. He is becoming a star right before our eyes. And it's been a pleasure to see. It's also nice because it gives Manny time to heal and heal completely.

Tim Wakefield has been cleared to make his Thursday start, and Clay Buchholz will be available out of the bullpen. He and Okajima will make quite the bridge to the ninth inning and salvation in the form of Paps. Gagne has been playing toss, but is a few days away.

The Red Sox are 84-55 and 7 games ahead of the Yankees with 23 to play. Roger Clemens says he will only miss one start after getting a cortisone shot in his elbow, but elbows are tricky and he's no Doctor, so the jury is out on that one. But there's nothing questionable about the state of the Sox...they're cruising towards the AL East Division title. And that's so sweet.

Click on the title of this post for more on Beckett's gem, and enjoy your Hump Day.

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