Monday, September 22, 2008

Red Sox Clinch Tie For Wild Card Spot...Boston 3 Toronto 0

Daisuke Matsuzaka was at his best Sunday afternoon at the Roger's Centre and his team defeated the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 3-0, reducing their magic number to one. And they gained a game on the Rays because Tampa lost to Minnesota. Anything is possible in this last week of the regular season. One win or one Yankee loss (and there'll be more that that) and the Sox are officially in the playoffs. It could have happened last night at the Yankee Stadium finale but the Baltimore Orioles meekly said goodbye to the pinstriped ones with a loss. But so what? We'll do this ourselves! Josh Beckett goes tonight, and if the team can finally get him some runs to work with, there will be a clubhouse celebration at Fenway tonight, a celebration in the HOME clubhouse.

Big Papi David Ortiz' two run tater was all Boston needed yesterday as Daiskue had every one of his pitches working with pinpoint control. Jacoby Ellsbury adjusted his batting stance a tad and came up with 3 base hits, but this was Matsuzaka's show and his best outing of the year. He gave up only 2 hits while walking 2 and striking out 6. He had the Jays fishing for the baseball, and mostly their hooks came up empty. Here's what Tito Francona and his catcher had to say after his 7 wonderous frames...

"I thought all his pitches had movement through the zone," Francona said. "He threw a fastball in a big situation by Rolen with two strikes, got it up past him. His slider, cutter, changeup . . . I think their hitters had to respect all his pitches, because he was throwing them all around the plate. That gives him a lot of different looks.

Said Varitek, "He was able to move the ball in and out, use the breaking ball to both sides, set it up with his heater. He did an awesome job today. It's more so just his location of his pitches, than all of them working. I think that's key more than anything."

'Tek is exactly right. If Daisuke has his control, just like yesterday, all his pitches do NOT have to work. But they sure did yesterday. He was flat-out brilliant. Coming up starting tonight is a four game Fenway series with the Cleveland Indians. Here are the pitching matchups...we'll see our entire rotation except for yesterday's starter...

Zach Jackson (0-3, 6.48 ERA) vs. Beckett (12-9, 3.96) tonight
Cliff Lee (22-2, 2.41) vs. Tim Wakefield (9-11, 4.18) Tuesday
Fausto Carmona (8-7, 5.19) vs. Paul Byrd (11-12, 4.53) Wednesday
Jeremy Sowers (4-8, 5.48) vs. Lester (15-6, 3.26) Thursday

***All games begin at 7:05pm EDT***

Tampa Bay has the day off today before starting a series with the hapless Orioles. And the Yankees begin their last 6 games of the regular season tomorrow against the Jays. Burnett or Halladay will stop them, but I'm not worried because all we have to do is win ONE game. GO SOX. Click on the title of this post for more on yesterday's resounding victory, and as always, BE WELL.


At 9/22/2008 11:28 AM, Blogger Rooster said...

Peter, Dice-K looked pretty good - ready for the playoffs!

I'm going to Fenway tomorrow. I kind of hope they clinch then, but I'll take a clinch today too.

The Rays are pretty much out of reach, unfortunately. I broke that down in my post, but just way too much of a long shot.

Just glad the Yankees are out - they needed to come back down to earth for a while.

At 9/22/2008 11:37 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Hello to you! I just wanted to say thank you for your comment, and...and...hmmm, one other thing...all it takes is 4 or 5 of 7 Sox wins, and who knows after that? As long as we're playing in October, I'm happy. But everything is RIGHT THERE! FOR US!!

Thanks Rooster.

At 9/22/2008 11:40 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Did you get the trivia answer right? Siimple math, but confusing. Maybe because it was at 5AM....

At 9/22/2008 11:41 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

For me.

At 9/22/2008 11:57 AM, Blogger Rooster said...

I did get the trivia question, but it took a minute, seems like it should have been immediate.

I know the Sox are "technically" still in it. But...

If the Sox win 4 games (as you mentioned) the Rays would have to go 2-6 for the sox to take the division. I think the Rays can win more than 2 games in their final 8.

And if the sox win 5 games (5-2), the Rays would have to go 3-5 for the Sox to get the Division.

Possible. Just not likely. But, you never know, that's why we keep cheering. One day at a time.

At 9/23/2008 6:19 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Rooster, you're right about the Rays and first place--I just want to clinch the wild card...tonight!
It's called faith, but 2 1/2 games is too much to make up, especially when the Orioles are involved in a game. They've obviously given up. Thanks, Roost.


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