Late Inning Letdown
Curt Schilling pitched well enough to win. He left with a 4-3 lead after pitching through the sixth inning, giving up 3 runs on 8 hits. But the bullpen, without the services of Gagne and Papelbon, who worked the three previous games, was not up to the task. Corey pitched a clean 7th, but Manny Delcarmen let in the tying run in the 8th and a tired, bruised and battered Hideki Okajima gave up a two run tater to Vernon Wells to lose the game. Coupled with another Yankee win over Seattle, giving them a 3 game lead in the wild card, the Sox have a six game bulge in the AL East. That's good, but I like seven better. With four games coming up at Baltimore, maybe that will happen, for the Sox will take 3 of those 4 games. I know it....the O's pitching staff is in shambles and ripe for the taking. Here are the pitching matchups........
Tim Wakefield (16-10, 4.16 ERA) vs. Garrett Olson (1-3, 7.22) tonight
Jon Lester (3-0, 5.26) vs. Daniel Cabrera (9-14, 5.06) Friday
Matsuzaka (14-11, 4.11) vs. Jon Leicester (0-1, 12.60) Saturday
Beckett (17-6, 3.30) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (7-5, 3.65) Sunday
We have to hope that Wakefield's injury interruption does not cool him off, for he was white hot before his forced break. We need you Timmy. The magic number stays at 17, and the earlier the Sox can clinch the division, the more time some of the players, one example being Okie, among others, will have to rest. To heal. To rejuvenate. And it will give Tito and John Farrell the needed days to set up the post season rotation and to use the 5 starters for, say, 5 innings instead of 7 or 8. That's why these upcoming games with a team in trouble (Baltimore) are so important to the team. And to RSN. To us all.
Click on the title of this post for Tony Massarotti's article about our newest sparkplug and future All Star, Jacoby Ellsbury. Great stuff! Have a wonderful Thursday, and I'd like to hear your comments on Massarotti's piece. And this....do you think the Sox are NOT going to hold onto their lead? Are they in trouble? I'll answer each and every one. Thanks!