***BIG PAPI DAVID ORTIZ MAKES HIS DEBUT IN PAWTUCKET WITH A BANG.***
Big Papi David Ortiz is back, and back with a boom and a zing and a bang. He played for the Pawtucket Red Sox Thursday and went one for three, including a bullet-like home run that zipped out of the park in an flash. Ron Johnson, the Pawtucket manager, had this to say...
"I didn't even see the home run. It must've been a laser because it was low and all I could see was the crowd screaming and I saw the right fielder turn and I said, 'That's probably gone' because I'm thinking about the balls he hit off me in BP and I'm going 'If he hit it and he squared it up, this ballpark ain't going to hold him.' After talking with him afterwards, he didn't have any problems with the swing. That's really good stuff right there. We'll see how he is tomorrow and I'm sure he'll be fine and we'll go out and do it again.
Peter here, and that is SUCH great news, or as Johnson said, "really good stuff." To have Ortiz back in his familiar three spot in the order will be the glue that once again could mold the Boston lineup into a hitting machine capable of destroying all those who dare to pitch against them. JD Drew will most likely drop into the six spot, just after Mike Lowell batting fifth. Where does that leave Youkilis? Seventh? I don't know, but if it's a problem, Tito Francona could use more problems like that! And remember this : the Red Sox play 16 of 25 September games in their cozy and inviting home called Fenway Park. Home sweet home. There's NO place like Fenway, there's NO place like Fenway, there's NO place like home. Ain't it the truth.
The Red Sox open up a three game set with the hot California Angels, one of the toughest teams in all of baseball. Here are the pitching matchups and the remaining games left with the Halos, coming right up...
Clay Buchholz (2-4, 5.70 ERA) vs. John Lackey (6-2, 2.46) tonight
Josh Beckett (9-5, 3.94) vs. Jered Weaver (8-8, 4.03) Saturday
Tim Wakefield (6-6, 3.60) vs. Joe Saunders (12-5, 3.07) Sunday
Fri 7/18 LAA 10:05 pm
Sat 7/19 LAA 3:55 pm
Sun 7/20 LAA 6:05 pm
Mon 7/28 BOS 7:05 pm
Tue 7/29 BOS 7:05 pm
Wed 7/30 BOS 7:05 pm
Well, that's it for today. It's late night baseball from the left coast tonight, so enjoy it! I hope Clay Buchholz can rid himself of the extreme jitters that complicated his last start. When he regains his form (tonight!!), the Boston rotation will be richer beyond belief. With a steady Lester, Tim Wakefield, who has been pitching steadily great, Beckett and Matsuzaka, who needs to throw far fewer pitches outside of the strike zone, the Sox can stay in first place as long as they want. And with Big Papi on his way back, my goodness!! Or as the much missed Ned Martin used to say..."MERCY!" Click on the title of this post for ALL the details of Papi's first start, and as always, BE WELL.