Lester Falters But Sox Beat The A's
Jon Lester had another mediocre outing, although he struck out nine batters in his too brief 4 2/3 innings. He threw 94 pitches in that span, and gave up 5 runs and 7 base hits while walking 3. That's just too many pitches, not to mention runs, but the Red Sox were not to be denied at this stage of the season, for the end is near and first place and the AL East title are almost theirs. Mike Lowell continued his torrid hitting. Ever since he took over the cleanup spot in the order, he has been nothing short of amazing. Last night he had 3 base hits and 5 runs batted in, giving him 117, a career high. It also established the Red Sox high water mark for RBIs in one season by a third baseman, breaking the record that was set by Butch Hobson (112) in 1977. Congrats, Mike! In all, the Sox offense pounded the A's pitching staff for 17 hits, and it was a good thing because of Lester's ineffectiveness. But all's well that ends well, and it sure did!
So now there are 4 games left in this regular season, and the Sox hold a 3 game edge over the Yankees, who clinched the wild card last night. With the magic number down to 2, a Sox win and a Yankee loss will clinch that elusive eastern division championship. And with Beckett going for Boston and Kazmir ready to pitch against the Yankees, well, it COULD happen today. The only way the Sox would NOT finish in first place is by utterly collapsing, finishing 1-3 or 0-4, and that simply ain't going to happen.
Click on the title of this post for Gordon Edes' look back at last night's Fenway Park festivities. I guarantee you everyone went home happy. I went to bed with a huge smile plastered on my face, and you know what? I woke up with that same magic smile. Have a great Thursday, and go Kazmir, and, of course, GO SOX!