Friday, June 27, 2008

The Boston Red Sox At The Halfway Point

The Boston Red Sox are about to begin a 10 game road trip in three cities. They start tonight (Friday) in Houston for three weekend games, go to Tampa Bay for three, which should be very interesting, and end up in the city that never sleeps to play the Yankees for four. The Yankee rotation is tattered and torn, bent, folded and stapled, so I hope the Sox can take advantage of that. But one game at a time, and tonight, all eyes will be on Daisuke Matsuzaka, who will be making his second start after his injury timeout. I'm sure you remember the disaster that was his last start, and I really hope he can put together six or seven good innings. Should he do so, the bullpen is rested and ready to take over for the final three.

Last year at this time, the Red Sox had a record of 50-31 with a lead of 10 1/2 games in the AL East. This year, at least right now, their lead is a slim 1/2 game, with the LAST place team 10 1/2 games back. But Boston's record is only one game worse, standing right now at 49-32, second best in the American league. Catcher Kevin Cash summed it up better than anyone after the Wednesday win over Arizona...

"I don't know if many people would say if you take David Ortiz out of your lineup, Curt Schilling not able to pitch, Daisuke Matsuzaka missing starts, and a lot of star players going down with injuries that we'd be where we are," catcher Kevin Cash said..."

Peter here, and this 2008 version of the team we love to love will only get better. Big Papi David Ortiz should (will) be back by the All Star break and Bartolo Colon within two weeks. That has to help. But even without our regular DH, the team has been winning more than losing. So we're in good shape, all things considered. The surprise team of the league has been the Tampa Bay Rays, who are matching the Sox almost step for step. And they HATE US...the Sox feel the same way about those bums (oops...that term is reserved for the Yankees) and I hope there will be no unusual theatrical drama when the two teams crash and collide starting on Monday. The series should be exciting and I hope no one gets hurt by a pitcher's demented try at redemption. There's no place for that in the game of baseball, not when someone, some IDIOT on the mound, throws at a batter's head, or behind him. Here are the pitching matchups for the series in Houston...

Matsuzaka vs. Runelvys Hernandez (season debut) tonight
Lester vs. Brandon Backe (5-8, 4.82) Saturday
Beckett vs. Brian Moehler (4-3, 4.03) Sunday

I don't know what will happen, but if Daisuke can bounce back from his last start, a virtual nightmare that was real, we have a great chance at taking two, if not three games. But tonight's game, at least right now, is muy importante (very important, and no, I am not Spanish). You can call me Petey, but NOT Pedro.

That's a wrap for this soon to be hot and humid Friday. I wish you the best, but that goes without saying. Click on the title for the Boston Globe's Red Sox homepage, and as always, BE WELL. P.S. I had fun writing that!

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