Monday, June 23, 2008

YOOUUK!! Red Sox 5 Cardinals 3

This would have been a tough loss and a lousy end to a nice Sunday afternoon, but Kevin Youkilis wanted to go home. So did I, and I WAS home! After all, the players and the crowd had been emotionally involved in a game that lasted more than five hours, including slightly less than an hour rain delay. Youk came up with Mike Lowell on first base and promptly launched one deep into the Monster Seats. That made a winner of Javy Lopez and salvaged one game of the three game set. Here's what the hero of the day had to say after his jubilent tour of the bases...

"Sick of playing that game," Youkilis said, after the 5-3 win over the Cardinals. "Glad we got done with it. It was getting a little tiring out there, little humid today with the rain. I just wanted to go home."

Peter here again, and I hope your trip home was a little easier than our trip through thirteen innings of hope and angst, Kevin. The four extra innings provided thrills and chills galore, as each team had plenty of chances to score. After the now dependable Jon Lester went the first 7 1/3 innings, Little Manny Delcarmen, continuing his hot streak, struck out the only two men he faced to end the eighth. The scene was ready, set, go for Jonathon Papelbon. He struck out the first two men he faced in the ninth, but then trouble reared its ugly and hideous head. With one strike needed to end the thing, a walk and a double by pinch hitter Adam Kennedy scored the tying run. Drats! Oh, the humanity! There were other, nonprintable words uttered, and I was less than pleased. But the bullpen took over for the extra frames. Okajima was shaky, pitching 1 2/3 innings but allowing four hits before giving way to Craig Hansen, who this time SAVED the day. He used his nasty slider (it's quite a pitch!) to wiggle out of an Okie bases-loaded jam. He struck out three and allowed zero hits and he deserved to win the game, but the victory was awarded to Javy Lopez, who retired the last two batters of the game while allowing two hits. So now you get the picture--both teams had plenty of chances to score in extra innings, but Youkilis and his two run tater (his second of the game) finally ended it. I'd be much happier if Papelbon had finished it in the ninth, but I'm sure he feels the same way. Chalk up a win for the good guys, no ifs, ands or buts. And that's the important thing.

Next up, the first place Arizona Diamondbacks come to town for three games. The last time they played at Fenway was in 2002, when Curt Schilling outdueled Petey Martinez (who did not look good losing for the Mets yesterday). Those days are gone, but here are the pitching matchups for Monday through Wednesday evenings at the Fens...

Dan Haren (7-4, 3.26 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett (7-4, 3.87) tonight
Doug Davis (2-3, 3.65) vs. Justin Masterson (4-1, 3.00) Tuesday
Randy Johnson (4-5, 5.09) vs. Tim Wakefield (4-5, 4.17) Wednesday

Just a couple words about the pitching matchups...Haren is one tough cookie! And that's a wrap for this Monday, June 23, 2008, a sad day becuase of the passing of comedian George Carlin, who was always one of my favorites. I wrote a little something about him in the next post, and I grieve. Click on the title for more on yesterday's win, and as always, BE WELL.

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