Wild Walk-Filled Win For The Red Sox...Boston 6 Detroit 3
Normally if you see the number eight in a baseball box score, you would think the pitcher had recorded eight strikeouts. But such was not the case Monday night in Michigan for Boston Red Sox starter and winner Daisuke Matsuzaka. The number eight meant that he had issued eight walks in his five full innings of work. And yet he only allowed one run to the frustrated Tiger lineup, a team who was strengthened by off season wheeling and dealing but has yet to show any results from those player transactions. Last night was more of the same for them, and more of the same for the streaking Red Sox, winners of four straight. Criag Hansen came in to pitch the sixth, which he did 1-2-3, and the seventh, where he got into trouble. But Hideki Okajima bailed him out with two gone in the seventh, and the eighth and ninth innings were capably handled by him and Jonathon Papelbon, who earned his tenth save in ten chances. We're going to need someone like Hansen to take care of the seventh inning when the starters go at least six, because once it gets to Okie and Paps, it's USUALLY "game over" time. The jury is still out for Delcarmen and Timlin. This is what manager Terry "Tito" Francona had to say about his wild but effective winning pitcher...
“He didn’t give in,” manager Terry Francona said. “He just kept plugging away, and that’s what he needed to do or he was going to give up runs.”
Matsuzaka was still weak from the after effects of that horrid and insipid flu bug that merrily pranced its way through the Boston clubhouse, so we have to give him credit for battling through it in his 109 pitch outing. Well-done, Daisuke! And now for the hitting. What can I say? Mike Lowell is back, and that's just what we need in the six spot of the batting order. He stroked three hits, including his first tater of the year, and appears to be rounding into form quite nicely. Big Papi also clubbed a home run, this one into the rightfield seats. In all, the Sox were in double figures yet again in hits, and if they keep this up and their starting pitching continues to shine, with a little more bullpen help, they will be fine. And by bullpen help, I mean that elusive third guy who can join Okie and Paps to form an unbeatabtle trio of 'lights-out" men. That would enable the starters to go at least six innings and, with a lead, be assured of a win in most cases. If that comes to pass, the Sox will be in first place from now until the end of the 2008 season. Just a thought!
Tonight, it's Wakefield ready to face Robertson as Boston tries to improve its first place 21-13 record. Not bad for a team that once lost five straight! And for all the details about last night and the latest about Curt Schilling's upcoming throwing program, just click on the title of this post. As always, BE WELL. I love every one of you. I do! I love the Boston Red Sox, too!! Forever.