Okie Dokie? NOPE...Baltimore 10 Boston 6
Hideki Okajima is somewhat of a puzzle this year, at least when he pitches against the Baltimore Orioles, who defeated the Boston Red Sox in comeback style, 10-6. After JD Drew and Manny Ramirez hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth, the Sox were up by a score of 6-4. I thought it might have been over. I was wrong. But it stayed that way until Josh Beckett, curiously NOT on top of his game again, gave way to Hideki Okajima, the Darkman (at least he WAS last year) to start the seventh (the seventh?). His numbers this year so far against every team BUT Baltimore include one home run allowed and an unbelievable ERA of 0.40. That's the Darkman we know and love! But against the Orioles, his numbers turn ghastly. He has allowed eight runs and nine hits and his ERA is a soaring 13.50. Yesterday, it was no different...the Birdies are clearly his Achille's Heel. In his 1/3 inning of work before giving way to the hot Manny Delcarmen, he allowed three runs on two hits and two free passes. It was downright ugly, and the Red Sox were down to stay. Little Manny pitched a clean eighth but Hansen, brought in to pitch the final frame, was victimized by a rare Pedey error. He gave up four hits in his one inning and allowed three Bird's runners to cross the plate. Two of those runs were earned, but the damage had been done. Our most effective pitcher of the evening had this to say about his recent torrid streak...
“I really haven’t changed much. I’ve been throwing the ball well. I’ve been talking to catcher Jason Varitek, mixing in my curveball a little bit more and I’ve had some success with that,” Delcarmen said of his recent dominance. “I’ve been on a good roll, and I want to keep it going.” I’m sure we’ll be better,” Delcarmen said. “It’s going to happen. Today was just one of those days.”
Peter here, and I hope Manny KEEPS mixing in his devastating curve amongst his 96 MPH fastballs. Hey Manny, nothing straight unless it's on the black, inside or outside. We need you. The Sox have a one game lead over the team that's been hanging around consistantly in second place, the Tampa Bay Rays. Their strong starting pitching is one of the biggest reasons why their hold on that spot is a steady one. Congrats go out to Manny Ramirez, who had a nice pre-game ceremony honoring his 500 home run acheivement, and he deserves it, too. It's nice to see JD continue to put his bat on the ball squarely and drive it towards the middle of the field. With his swing, many balls are destined for the seats, and Sir Manny bats right behind him. That can't hurt! I hope he can keep this up all year. Oh, Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has been throwing off the mound of late, will be back as soon as the middle of next week. That's so good to hear. Tonight, it's Garrett Olsen ready to face Bartolo Colon, who lost his last start but, because of his own throwing error, three of the six runs given up were unearned. Hey, they count, no matter what, but I'm confident that he will lead Boston to a victory tonight at cooler Fenway. Faith...that word says SO SO much. I sometimes feel that FAITH is my middle name, but it's Mark, which thankfully sounds a little more manly.
Click on this post's title to be linked to the Boston Globe Red Sox homepage, have a great Hump Day Wednesday, and as always, be well. Your comments are always welcomed and always answered. I appreciate each and every one of them, and each and every one of you. Quite simply, you're the best!