Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Boston Red Sox Roll On. Next Stop? NEW YORK CITY, JUST LIKE I PICTURED IT!

Ok, OK, I borrowed a line from Stevie Wonder's 1976 song LIVING IN THE CITY for part of the title (the part in caps). The Boston Red Sox are flat out playing good baseball. All phases of their game have improved since the first rough days of the season, and the ninth inning home run has saved them more than once lately. Take last night, for example. Jason Varitek hit a 9th inning tie-breaking solo home run, putting the Sox ahead for good. They tacked on another run in that final frame and Hideki Okajima made the victory official with a clean, two strikeout ninth. Tim Wakefield was great again, going six full and allowing only two runs on seven hits, walking four and whiffing the same number. A quality start yet again. Lopez and Delcarmen, neither sharp, followed Wakes. Aardsma finished the 8th and set the way for the Darkman's ninth. My goodness! Great job out of the 'pen. 'Tek had this to say after his winning clout...

“I’ve had my fair share of appearances as a pinch-hitter over my career,” Varitek said while icing his knees. “I haven’t been able to do that very often. I can’t even describe it,” he said of standing on the bag. “It’s one of those moments in your life you are always going to remember.”

Peter here, and well done, Mr. Captain. Kevin Youkilis remained sizzilingly white hot. He raised his batting average to .385 by collecting two more base hits, his 8th and 9th in his last 15 at bats. And rookie Jed Lowrie, a shortstop who was moved over to third base to give Sean Casey a day off, collected 3 RBIs, tying the 61 year old Red Sox rookie RBI debut record held by Merl Combs. Great job Jed! Way to go.

So the Sox enter the Papi-less tee shirted Yankee Stadium tonight for the first time in this 2008 regular season, and they've won 4 straight, quietly, unassumedly. Here are the two game pitching matchups...

Clay Buchholz (0-1) vs. Chien-Ming Wang (3-0)
Josh Beckett (1-1) vs. Mike Mussina (1-2

Those pairings suggest a split of the series, at least at my first glance. I have to give the edge to Wang in game one because he always seems to pitch well against the good guys. But there ARE occasions when his all-important sinker doesn't sink. The Sox hitters have to stay back on the ball and not let their bats top the ball into the ground. The edge goes to the Yankees in this one, but we never know when Clay will break out with a seven inning gem. Paps will be ready with any kind of late inning lead.

Game two I have to put in the Sox victory column. Beckett has gotten better in each of his first two starts, and with the Moose, you never know what you will see. He's showing his age, and that's why I expect Boston to take this one. But both games should be fun, with weather in the Bronx the next two nights virtually perfect for the National Pastime. So pull up a chair, crack a cold one (beer, iced tea, whatever) and simply enjoy two teams who do not like each other, although the hatred I have for Hank Steinbrenner and his thick-headed and predictably dull thinking process makes my dislike of the Yankees look mild in comparison. I JUST DO NOT LIKE THE MAN, stupidly uninformed comments and all. GO SOX, starting a few minutes after 7pm EDT.

If you have a chance, click on the title of this post to be whisked to the Red Sox Boston Globe home page. There are many articles to pick from once you get there, and everything you wanted or needed to know about last night's get away game in Cleveland, happy ending included! Your comments are always welcomed and always answered. Thank you for stopping by and BE WELL. FOREVER.


At 4/16/2008 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the rivalry resuming, though I still wish it would be Dice-K vs. Chien-Ming. And it's always fun to see Paps take on the Yankees!

At 4/16/2008 10:22 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

But Wang is SO effective against our Sox

I think...I think..."Let It Be." For now...I have faith. Always will!! Clay might surprise us!

At 4/16/2008 12:20 PM, Blogger gingerly said...

Peter, that game last night was great fun. I can't imagine how exciting it must have been for Lowrie, knowing his RBIs brought those three runs in. Always nice to see the kids do well.

As for tonight, I'm betting on Clay. Wang is superb . . . sometimes. He can screw up just like anyone else. So let's hope.

At 4/16/2008 1:06 PM, Blogger Rooster said...

Peter, I picked the same split as you. You never know, but that's how it looks on paper. How about the Ellsbury wall-crashing catch to end the game. I loved that!

One point of clarification. The "buried t-shirt" was in the new stadium being build across the street, not the current Yankee stadium. So, this Yankee Stadium for tonight's game has always been Ortiz T-shit-less (I presume - lol).

At 4/16/2008 1:12 PM, Blogger gingerly said...

Rooster and all,

Speaking of Jacoby, did he actually SNATCH that ball out of the guy's hand? You couldn't really tell from the shot they showed, but it sure looked like it.


At 4/16/2008 1:36 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

Rooster, I meant the NEW Pinstriped Stadium. Why? Wherever they are, doom is near! I really hope. We'll see, but Wang might overmatch Clay, just for now!!

Hey Keith...all I know is that it was a TREMENDOUS CATCH!! Just using the words of Ken Coleman...remember him, and that YAZ catch?

Thanks guys. Lunchtime for me.

At 4/16/2008 2:33 PM, Blogger Rooster said...


The guy in the stands had his hands out to make the catch and basically, Jacoby's glove landed right on top of the fan's hands and essentially snared the ball right out of his outstretched palms. "Gimme Dat Ball!"

At 4/16/2008 3:03 PM, Blogger gingerly said...

That's great. He looked so happy, like he'd really pulled off a major sneaky move. Good for him.

At 4/17/2008 6:17 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Roost, now we have to DEPEND on that split, the one WE called. And Keith, hi to you, too. With a fresh Okie and Paps in our tired and ineffective 'pen (as of Thursday morning), except for that duo, I think Josh knows and Josh WILL go a solid 7 innings, with the Sox chasing the Moose after 4 1/3 innings. It's Thursday morning right now, and it's way early (6:15am edt), so I'll come right back here tomorrow at this time and see that my prediction was right. THAT would make us all happy. The next time we see the NYY is IN JULY!!!!!!! Thanks for your always great comments. Pete....hey, I MEAN that! Every one of you are so great.


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