Seattle Knuckles Under To Wakefield and Boston...Red Sox 11 Mariners 3
Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield led his Boston Red Sox team to a resounding 11-3 stomping of the Seattle Mariners, and he was flat out brilliant. At one point he retired 12 Mariners in a row. He allowed five hits, but only three of them were longer than 25 feet. Wakes said he was staying back longer during his delivery, and that helps his control as his knuckleballs dart and zoom and dance THROUGH the strike zone. One of his strikeouts victims was Kenji Johjima, and the pitch was eerily reminicent of the famous "eephus" pitch, a pitch thrown so slowly it almost looks like a slo-mo instant reply. The pitch was beautifully slow and the whiff was real. Wakes went seven innings, and the bullpen polished off the west coasters. Craig Hansen continued to show a biting slider and a good fastball and breezed through the eighth. Jonathon Papelbon, summoned to pitch the ninth just to give him some work, allowed one run during a 23 pitch ninth. And then, suddenly, it was over and almost time to watch the third jewel of the Triple Crown. Big Brown ran out of gas but was unhurt, and thank goodness for that. I've had my fill of race track spills and needless suffering of the big but gentle animals.
The Boston offense was powered by home run #504 from Sir Manny and the white-hot JD Drew, who had three more hits as he continues his amazing turnaround from last year. He has taken up so much of the void created by Big Papi's wrist injury. After the game he had this to say...
"Best day? Nice day," Drew said, as casually as he would if he'd just been asked about the weather, which was a sweltering 86 degrees at game time. "I'm swinging the bat, hitting some balls hard. I don't think I've changed much. I'm not missing my pitches. I don't think I'm filling Ortiz's shoes," Drew said. "I just go out and do the things I do. Where I bat is up to Tito."
Peter here, and if JD was right here standing next to me, I'd say "thanks, you're locked in. Keep it going." Manny is another one who is locked in, as is Kevin Youkilis, who makes a habit of it. He moved from third base to first in the eighth inning and commited an error, so I guess that means that defensively, he IS human! Who'da thunk it? All in all, with 13 hits, the Red Sox offense was just fine, thank you.
It's Sunday afternoon baseball in the land of magically green Fenway Park, the home of the world champions. Masterson will face the sometimes tough Erik Bedard. Bedard usually pitches well against the Sox, but I sense a victory, I SMELL a win. Take a whiff...don't you smell it, too?? I hope I'm right, for Boston has been sizzling, winning seven of their last nine games. And this without Big Papi David Ortiz? YES...a new hero steps up each and every day. That's the sign of a deep and talented ball club, and that's a signature of this 2008 Red Sox team, the team we love to love.
Click on the title of this post to be linked to the Boston Globe Red Sox homepage, and to the two Red Sox DVD contest winners, one from Connecticut and one from our dear neighbor Canada, the sets will be in the mail tomorrow, which is Monday. My apologies for the delay, but they're worth the wait. Everyone, have a wonderful weekend and if you're in the northeast, or south, or just about anywhere, stay cool. Enjoy the game, and as always, be well. Any of your comments will be devoured just as if I was starving after a weeklong trek in the Sahara, with only water to keep me alive...barely, holding on by a thread. I will respond to them as soon as I see 'em. Thanks again, my Constant Readers (thank you SK). I don't know what I'd do without you.
P.S. I want to thank Brittany of Brittany's BoSox (link on my link list!) for steering me towards a new blog feature. Just look on the right side of your screen. The Fox Sports update widget is there now. You can use your mouse to scroll up and down through today's games using the slider on the right side of the widget, or those of yesterday and the ones scheduled for tomorrow. Or you can click on MENU and pick a major league sport. Thanks, Brittany!