Thursday, June 05, 2008

Boston, Beckett Breeze...Red Sox 5 Tampa Bay 1

Josh Beckett and the Boston bullpen made it look easy Wednesday night at Fenway Park with a 5-1 thumping of the formally first place Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox, with the victory, vaulted into first place ahead of the Florida team. They just refuse to lose at home. Tonight they go for the sweep, with Jon Lester facing James Shields. Beckett, who ran his record to 6-4, breezed through the first six innings although he was not quite as sharp as we're all used to. He slipped during a sixth inning delivery but struck out the batter with the very next pitch after a mini-conference at the mound. We do not need to add to the bulging disabled list, although Coco Crisp injured his thumb trying to slide into a knee-blocked second base. He'll be OK for tonight, we have to hope. Here's what the Captain had to say of his battery partner...

"His location is getting better," said Varitek, who attributed Beckett's comparatively slow start this season to missing most of spring training because of a bad back. "He's able to get to his curveball, get to it instead of it taking two or three pitches. I think it's just a cleanness of his delivery of getting more comfortable out there..."

The bullpen was again strong, with Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima and the improving Craig Hansen posting goose eggs in the final three innings. Hansen has been such a help recently in the 'pen--he's been that "missing link." Ever since Mike Timlin became somewhat erratic, Craig Hansen has gotten better and better. And Paps didn't have to pitch, so whatever happens tonight with Lester, he'll be ready. I hope Jon can give us more than five innings. Seven would be just great! And JD Drew, who was inserted into the three spot in the lineup, Papi's spot, continued to shine, with two hits, one a double, and one RBI. He has been a great mini-surprise.

Well, that's a wrap for this early Thursday morning. Click on the title of this post to be teleported (OK, linked) to the Boston Globe Red Sox homepage, and enjoy your day. Will we need brooms tomorrow morning? We'll see, won't we? Hey, remember, BE WELL.


At 6/05/2008 9:13 AM, Blogger said...

Peter, I love getting the recap on your site. Thanks for posting it. All this sky is falling from Sox fans about Papi being out, I am not so convinced, but only time will tell. For right now, after two straight wins over the De..ahem I am sorry the RAYS, we find ourselves in first place and ready to slam into the summer months!! Once the Celtics wrap up the NBA finals all eyes will be on the local nine all summer long. GO SOX!!

At 6/05/2008 11:23 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Green wraps up? WoW..shades of '86...I'll be watching!!!!

At 6/05/2008 11:37 AM, Blogger Rooster said...

The bullpen has really been improving, hasn't it? I love seeing Hansen looking sharp - and Delcarmen struck out the side! Even Oki was back in form.

I am expecting Crisp to get the night off, Manny to move to left, and Chris Carter to get his first start at DH.

(no rain tonight, right?)

At 6/05/2008 11:47 AM, Blogger gingerly said...

Really nice to see DelCarmen doing well with the rest of the pitching aces. I keep saying it: we are so lucky to have our guys. And JD: keep on going!

The sweep tonight. Payback!

At 6/06/2008 1:35 AM, Blogger redsox.njdevils said...

Yep, Peter, we needed those brooms--not only for the sweep but also to clean up the mess of a game we had tonight.

It was crazy! The brawl with Coco. Jacoby's catch/injury. Chris Carter! Manny slapping Youkilis. Wow.

I can't wait to read your take on all of the madness tomorrow!

Aw, I really wanted to be teleported, but I guess being linked will have to suffice.

At 6/06/2008 6:33 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

You can be teleported anytime, Brittany! Thanks for the gerat comment, and I could not believe what I was seeing on the tube last night!!!!

Rooster, again, the 'pen was great amidst all the madness.

Keith, a sweep with a price, but a sweep nonetheless.

THANKS EVERYONE. Wow, what a Thursday night at Fenway...I might have to watch (I will!!) the 1 hour replay of the game on NESN this morning. I'm setting the DVR right now....

At 6/06/2008 6:33 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Brit, I meant great.


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