An Okie Dokie Oops...Yankees 3 Red Sox 2 **BECKETT SIDELINED AGAIN. HE WILL SEE DR. ANDREWS**
Game three of the Red Sox/Yankee series was a tough one to watch, but only from the 7th inning onward. Before then, Lester was superb and kept the 2-0 Boston lead intact. Here's what manager Tito Francona thought of Lester's 6 2/3 innings, a span in which he gave up just 1 earned run and 5 base hits while walking NONE and striking out 8...
"I thought he was tremendous," Francona said. "His fastball was explosive. He threw all his pitches. He was tremendous. It's a shame the way the game ended.
Peter here, and Tito is right. Lester rebounded completely from his disastrous start against the Blue Jays, and we know we can count on him for the balance of this season and many, many more to come. But then there was Okie, who's been effective lately. But he threw a belt-high fastball, exactly the wrong pitch in exactly the wrong location, to pinch hitter Jason Giambi. Two seconds later, that ball was in the centerfield stands, flying over the 408 foot sign on the wall. 2-2. Justin Masterson and Jonathon Papelbon couldn't hold the Yankees when it came to the 9th, with Giambi lining the game winning hit off Paps. But hey...the Sox took two of three from the Yankees IN Yankee Stadium, a place where the Yankees usually rule. Tampa Bay beat Toronto yet again, so the Sox are 4 1/2 games back in the AL East. The Minnesota Twins, who are right now our only wild card concern, also lost, so Boston has a three game wild card lead on them and a six game lead over the Yankees, who will visit Fenway for the final 3 games of the season. Tonight the first place White Sox come into town, and I'll have the full pitching matchups after this breaking Sox news...
Josh Beckett has been scratched from his Friday (today) start and will see Dr. Andrews. His numbness, tingling and elbow soreness have not subsided completely, although they have lessened. But the red Sox FO, as they should, are not taking any chances. Here's what Theo Epstein had to say about it...
"Those symptoms have subsided for the most part," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said after yesterday's loss to the Yankees. "But it's still just not quite 100 percent. We don't feel comfortable pitching him unless he is 100 percent, because we have to take his long-term interests and the team's long-term interests into account first and foremost. So, again, mainly for his peace of mind as much as anything else, he's going to go see Dr. Andrews on Friday."
"We don't want to put any pitcher in a position where he has to take the mound at anything less than 100 percent," Epstein said. "So we think this is the right move. We had him penciled in. I think you could tell from our answers to you guys the last couple of days we thought this might be a possibility. It's the right thing to do."
"We're always concerned for all of our pitchers when they're less than 100 percent, but we're pretty optimistic this thing's getting better," Epstein said. "It just makes sense. Josh has a great relationship with Andrews; he's an accomplished doctor. Get another opinion here, hope he comes back and can take the ball pretty soon."
Peter here, and I completely agree with Theo. When it comes to someone's health and well being, you take NO CHANCES. Great job, Theo. And here are the pitching matchups for this weekend's Fenway series with Chicago, as promised...
Javier Vazquez (10-11, 4.37 ERA) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (15-2, 2.98) tonight
Mark Buehrle (11-10, 3.86) vs. David Pauley (0-0, 10.38) Saturday
Gavin Floyd (14-6, 3.70) vs. Tim Wakefield (8-8, 3.73) Sunday
Taking two of three again would be nice, for the Red Sox have been winning most of their recent series. Oh, one other thing...Sean Casey, who has been so great for us, is still experiencing discomfort in his neck and will undergo an MRI today. Let's hope all is well. Mike Lowell is progressing nicely, and we should see him back at third in seven days or so.
Well, that's a wrap for now...plenty of news, that's for sure! Click on the title for more on yesterday afternoon's defeat, have a great Labor Day weekend, and as always, BE WELL. I'll be back with everyday posts tomorrow morning, hopefully with better news. Your comments are always welcomed and always answered. It's great to have you here. I mean it!