Saturday, July 05, 2008

Red Sox Sock Yankees Again...Boston 6 Yankees 4

Friday afternoon, July 4th of 2008 was quite the day for Red Sox players and fans alike in New York City as Boston soundly defeated the downtrodden home team who go by the name "Yankees" by a score of 6-4. Darrell Rasner was absolutely no match for Sox ace Josh Beckett, and it showed. Josh was able to go six complete innings, throwing slightly more than 100 pitches, as he overcame a shaky first frame and got tougher and tougher as the game rolled by. The bullpen took over in the 7th, and Hideki Okajima strode to the mound, Phiton titanium necklace firmly in place. Once again it was not a good outing for him. He DID record two outs, but also walked two and surrendered a base hit. So Manny Delcarmen was called on to extinguish the smoldering fire that is the Yankee offense. And he did just that before running into minor trouble in the eighth. One pinstriper was on and there was one out. Tito Francona needed a lefthander to pitch to the lefty batter, so out came Javy Lopez. Obviously it was a perfect pitch and he was out of the inning with a perfect double play infield grounder. And then everyone in the stadium and watchin NESN or who had their ears glued to their radios or shortwaves knew it was "Paps time". After some anxious moments and a bad call (the ump said he blew the call after the game) on what seemed to be a miracle catch by Coco Crisp in centerfield, a 400 plus foot fly ball ended the game. 2 for 2 for the Sox, with Masterson ready to face Mike Mussina in the Fox nationally televised game at 3:30pm EDT, on FOX and FOXHD.

The biggest hit of the game belonged to Boston's Mr. Doubles, who has been clutch all season long (last season, too, and the one before). Mike Lowell lined a three run home run into the seats, and that provided the margin of victory. His manager, Terry "Tito" Francona, had this to say, followed by a comment from Mike himself...

“He just plays every day and grinds out the game. He makes the plays. We rely on him for a lot. I fought it last year (by continuing to bat him sixth) because I didn’t want him to feel like he had to do too much, and that was wrong. He can do a lot.”
“I’ve been able to drive in runs since I was 7 years old. I don’t see why I wouldn’t be able to when I’m 34,” Lowell said. “I don’t think they’d put me in the 5-hole if it wasn’t my strength.”

I'll leave you with the complete Boston pitching summary and my wishes for a tremendous Fourth of July weekend. That's right, it's only Saturday! The fireworks festival, actually called the Hartford Riverfest (it's on the Connecticut River, with views from the east and west side), begins this evening with things going on all around the city before the 9:45 pm pyrotechnics, assembled and choreographed by the Grucci Bothers. Nobody does it better, and I'll be there. By then the game will be over and we all might be celebrating another Sox victory, but today's pitching matchup is the toughest of the four games. The Yankees have not seen Masterson, however, so he might initially befuddle them. Let's hope he can give us 6 (plus?) great innings. Papelbon threw 27 pitches yesterday, but he hadn't worked before that for seven days, so I think Tito will not hesitate to call on him to get the last three outs, IF WE'RE AHEAD. I hope so. And it will be wet in the Big Apple, with scattered showers and thundershowers in the late afternoon. But the game will go on! Here's that pitching line from Friday afternoon...
************
Name IP H R ER BB K ERA*
J Beckett
(W, 8-5) 6.0 4 3 3 2 4 3.70
H Okajima
(H, 16) 0.2 1 0 0 2 0 3.00
M Delcarmen
(H, 12) 0.2 0 0 0 1 0 4.63
J Lopez
(H, 8) 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 2.16
J Papelbon
(S, 25) 1.0 1 1 1 1 0 2.19
*************
Thanks for popping in again, and please make it a habit. And you can click on the title of this post for a nice treat yet again, from Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant. I said it in yesterday's post and I'll say it once again...he is one of my favorite sportswriters. So click away. His subject? The Red Sox and Yankees, what else? Enjoy!

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