Streaking Boston Red Sox Finish Off Four Game Sweep Of The Texas Rangers
The Boston Red Sox celebrated Patriot's Day in style, and with a "B-like" lineup, too. They defeated the happless Texas Rangers by a score of 8-3. The three runs were given up by the Sox bullpen, for Clay Buchholz had what might have been his breakout start, the one we were all waiting for. He went six innings, allowing five hits and ZERO runs while walking two. He also added six big strikeouts. All four of his pitches were working, and with the familiar (to him) Kevin Cash as his behind-the-plate batterymate, he was comfortable in using them all to keep Texas off balance, never knowing what would be coming next. Tito Francona had this to say about his starter...
"I thought he was much more unpredictable in all counts," manager Terry Francona said after the Sox had swept the Rangers, locking up their fifth straight win and ninth in 10 games. "He was throwing all his pitches.
"We talk so often about establishing fastball, but with Clay, he's got four pitches that if he can throw at any time, in any count, vs. lefty, vs. righty, all of a sudden you start pumping that 93, 94 in there, it gives you an extra foot or two on your fastball. And he was throwing them all, all day, right from the very beginning."
Peter here. And this is what his catcher, Kevin Cash, thought...
"Just a little bit better command with his fastball especially," Cash said of the difference between when he caught Buchholz over the second half of the 2007 season in Pawtucket and now. "He's always had four plus pitches; there aren't many pitchers in baseball that have four pitches you can get a swing-and-miss on in the zone. So he has that, but just to get ahead of hitters is big for him."
Peter back again. I noticed after the first three innings that Clay looked confident and settled. That was not true earlier in the game, when the Rangers populated the bases. But not one of them scored, much to the credit of Mr. Buchholz and the pitch calling of Kevin Cash.
The batting star was, once again, Big Papi David Ortiz. He had two doubles, one of which was aided by the sun, and since his horrid 3 for 43 start, he has gone 11 for 36, which tabulates to an average of .306. That's more Papi-like! Twelve of his fifteen RBIs have come in that span, too. Julio Lugo enjoyed his first four hit day of the year, and I hope it won't be his last. In all, the Red Sox bashed twelve safeties, and right now, at 14-7, they have the best record in all of baseball. Sort of suitable for the World Champs, don't you think?
The Anaheim/LA Angels are the next Fenway foes, and the pitching matchups look exactly like this...
Jered Weaver (1-3, 3.60 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett (2-1, 5.12) tonight
Jon Garland (2-2, 4.81) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (4-0, 3.14) Wednesday
Joe Saunders (3-0, 2.15) vs. Jon Lester (1-2, 5.06) Thursday
So there you have it. All three of the regular season morning games are over. I'll miss them a little, because I'm an early riser. But right now I have to rush. There is a scheduled 8 hour (AAHHHH!!!) power outage scheduled for today between 8:30am and 4:30pm right here in good old Farmington. At least the day will be comfortably cool instead of scaldingly hot or bone-chillingly cold. My boredom will be negated in two ways. I'm doing number one right now-writing this post to you before I have to turn off and unplug my Mac just in case there is a power blip when the power god returns our juice. Number two will be to curl up with a good book, and I'm reading three of 'em. So I should be all set. I've put extra ice cubes in the freezer and refrigerator and have distributed my LED flashlights throughout the house. And my grill will be ready to take over the cooking load, with a ground steakburger and trimmings in my future. I just have to remember to limit my "refrigerator door openings." I can do that! So I'm in OK shape. I guess it's a LITTLE better when one KNOWS that the power will fail, but it still sucks.
Click on the title of this post to be linked to the Boston Globe's Sox homepage. You could easily lose yourself there for an hour or so. Enjoy! And as always, BE WELL. Go Sox. We have halos on our minds. Yes. WE DO!