Red Sox Beat Twins, Clinch Best Record In Baseball
Well, the Boston Red Sox went out Saturday evening and did what they had to do. They beat the Minnesota Twins by a score of 6-4. That win, combined with Cleveland's loss to Kansas City, guaranteed the Red Sox will have the best record in the AL -- with a tiebreaker edge if they match the Indians at 96-66. That gave them the right to choose whether to start their division series at home against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday or Thursday.
They picked Wednesday, giving them an extra day off during the series, and Cleveland will begin Thursday against the New York Yankees.
Tim Wakefield had a quality start, going 7 innings and only giving up 3 earned runs, 4 in all, on 8 base hits. Javy Lopez pitched the 8th and Hideki Okajima, in his final appearance before Wednesday, pitched the 9th. Boston trailed the Twinkies 4-2 before exploding for four runs in the 7th inning, the big blow being a 3 run home run by the resurging JD Drew, who could not have picked a better time to get hot. He had 3 hits in all, as did Kevin Youkilis. We need their bats tremendously for the October games to come, and right now it seems like the team is jelling nicely, offensively and on the mound. And that bodes well for Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International.
Game one of the AL Division series will be Wednesday evening, as the Angels come into Boston hoping to steal a game on Sox turf. It will be Josh Beckett starting. Curt Schilling was expected to start today, but there has been a change of plans, a smart one if I say so myself. I guess I just did! From the Globe.....
"A couple of weeks ago, Daisuke Matsuzaka had indicated to Japanese reporters he'd been told he would draw the Game 2 assignment, but Schilling's strong performance this September appears to have dictated a change in plans. Matsuzaka, who has never faced the Angels, now figures to pitch Game 3 in Angels Stadium."
Peter here, and that's the smart thing to do. Schilling appears to be pitching as well as he has all season long, and he and Josh will make a great 1-2 punch. Daisuke has had better results when pitching on the road, so he'll start game # 3 in Los Angeles. The best-of-five series will begin Wednesday at Fenway Park, with Game 2 following on Friday. The series will shift to Anaheim for Games 3 and 4 (if necessary) on Sunday and Monday, and will return to Fenway, if needed, on Oct. 10. So be happy, folks, Tito is making all the right moves, providing nice rest for the bullpen between games 1 and 2, and 2 and 3. The rest of the action begins Wednesday, between the lines at Fenway Park, where it counts.
Congratulations, 2007 Boston Red Sox, for finishing with the best record in baseball. Let's keep it going for another, oh, say, 11 wins. And please click on the title of this post for the Herald's Tony Massarotti's look at the upcoming series with those Angels. Enjoy your Sunday, as many of the regulars will get a day off and any pitchers will be limited to 3 innings or less. Care-free baseball, until Wednesday. Then everything changes, and we prepare ourselves for an October unlike any other. Just a feeling, an exciting one, too! Be well, Constant Readers, and thanks. PLEASE REMEMBER, I would love to read and respond to your thoughts or comments on baseball and our Red Sox before the end of the season is upon us. That's today!