Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wakefield Grounds The Jays Into A No Fly Zone...Boston 7 Toronto 0

On the eve of a four game series with the pitching-tough Toronto Blue Jays, there was an apprehensive mood that echoed throughout Fenway Park. The Red Sox had just come off two late inning defeats to the first place Tampa Bay Rays, who, like the Twins, were rained out last night. But Tim Wakefield and his knuckleball were the absolute cure for all the pre-game shivers and quivers. He led the Red Sox to a 7-0 victory over the visiting Jays, going 8 full innings and allowing only 3 hits and zero (!) runs. He struck out 4 and walked not a soul. That's quite a contrast to his last start in Texas, where he couldn't find the strike zone if his life had depended on it. Luckily, it didn't. Here's what THE MAN had to say after his stellar outing...

“I felt great - even in Texas I felt great, I just couldn’t find the strike zone, too much movement and I wasn’t able to rebound to get that last out in the second inning, so obviously getting through eight today was a huge swing from last time,” said the knuckleballer...

Peter here, and Timmy felt great AND looked great. 65 of his 94 pitches were strikes. It was a fun game to watch because the outs seemed effortless and the nervousness factor was almost negligable, even when it was a close 2-0 Boston lead. Little Manny Delcarmen pitched a clean ninth to secure the victory, an important one for the wild card leading Red Sox. The big hits belonged to Kevin Cash, who slugged a 3 run tater, and Jed Lowrie and Big Papi David Ortiz, who each had 2 RBIs. Jed Lowrie and his manager had this to say...

“We have three more games in two days, Toronto is a good ballclub and playing well,” Lowrie said. “To get the first win of the series is huge for us.”

“It was important to win, and we played a nice, clean game on a night where the field was sloppy,” Sox manager Terry Francona said. “We caught the ball, Wake threw strikes, it was a crisp game from our side, and it was a very important game.”

Well said, Tito and Jed. Toronto and Boston play an important day-night separate admission (of course) doubleheader today and tonight. The pitching matchups are in the post directly below this one. If the Sox can take 2 of the next 3 (I have to give Halladay a HUGE edge tomorrow, even though he's going against the ever improving Jon Lester), the Jays will just about be out of it. That's why they're pitching Burnett (today) and Doc on 3 day's rest.

That's a wrap for now...I might be back during the first game with an update, but that depends on the weather here in north central Connecticut. I guess it depends on the weather in Boston, too! Have a great Saturday, click on this post's title for more on last night's gemlike win, and as always, BE WELL. I'll leave you with the up to date wild card standings. They look nice...

W L PCT GB Home Away DIV Streak

Boston 86 60 .589 --- 50-21 36-39 32-28
Minnesota 80 66 .548 6 49-26 31-40 39-24
Toronto 79 68 .537 7 1/2 43-29 36-39 30-2
NY Yankees 77 69 .527 9 40-31 37-38 31-29

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