Saturday, April 18, 2009

Red Sox Offense & Bullpen Shine In Comeback Victory Over Birds

In the first game of a nine game homestand, the Boston Red Sox fell behind early and then staged one of those "can you believe it?" comebacks. Brad Penny struggled with his control, walking five and giving up eight runs in three plus innings. The score was 7-0 Baltimore and things looked bleak...but not for long. The Red Sox offense awakened with a bang and a boom and the Boston bullpen showed their stuff as the home team clubbed their way to a 10-8 win. Penny had the velocity and after the game said he was physically fine. He summed it up like this...

"Physically, I felt unbelievable," Penny said. "My velocity was consistent. I haven't had stuff like this in a while. It was just the command. That's uncharacteristic of me. I usually don't walk a lot of guys."

Penny's velocity was obvious and his control WILL return but the Orioles have a great hitting team. Sox centerfielder Jason Bay had a tremendous night with the game winning RBI and shortstop Nick Green went 2-4 as Boston proved they can still bash the ball with the best of 'em. Bay said this after the game...

"We have the kind of lineup where we can have three or four guys not on their game and still put up a lot of runs," said Jason Bay, who began the comeback with a two-run homer and later drove in the winning run.

The Red Sox bullpen showed why Boston has a clear advantage over the Yankees with Manny Delcarmen and newcomer Ramon Ramirez dazzling the frenzied Fenway crowd with sparkling rescue pitching. Jonathon Papelbon pitched a one hit ninth to earn his third save and Ramirez was the winner. He looked AWESOME. Only Javy Lopez was ineffective but he'll get his act together, hopefully soon. Strangely, Kevin Youkilis was hitless, but he has carried the offense all season long. I'm worried about Big Papi David Ortiz, who looked lost at the plate. He was clearly swinging at pitches which were almost in the opposing catcher's mitt. I hope his wrist isn't bothering him because he is the heart and soul of the Boston offense. Keep an eye on him, starting tonight at 7:10pm EDT. It'll be Adam Eaton facing Josh Beckett, who has appealed his six game suspension. Manager Terry Francona also announced that Justin Masterson will start the 11:05am EDT Patriots Day Monday tilt against the same Orioles. It looks like Justin will be in the starting rotation until Daisuke Matsuzaka's shoulder has a chance to rest and recover. I think it's a great move by Tito because the Sox bullpen is deep, REALLY deep. Expect Masterson to return to his late inning bullpen role as soon as possible.

Enjoy your Saturday and the whole weekend. Nadia and I are going to Six Flags up in Springfield, Massachusetts to have some warm weather thrills. I'm not sure if I want to go on their extreme roller coaster ride but it'll be a last second decision by yours truly. I'll let you know later if I survive. Click on this post's title for the full Sox update and as always, BE WELL. Cheers, l'chaim and here's to you, my Constant readers. See ya.


At 4/18/2009 10:54 AM, Anonymous johnbee418 said...

Big Papi is a one handed swinger. His left hand is on top and merely guides the bat partway through his swing. At contact, his left hand is off the bat and his right hand and arm complete the powerful swing through his follow-through. His left hand could be broken for all the good it does to his swing. His left wrist is not David's problem.

He is lunging from an exagerated crouch and clearly loses sight of the pitch on its way in. When I was a kid, I had the same problem. An eye doctor fixed me up when I tested for an astigmatism. But by that time I was in the Navy, then married, so ball playing was limited to Sunday afternoon slow pitch softball.

Tell Big Papi to have his eyes checked. And tell Francona to stop waiting for the big inning to bail out his reticence to remove a pitcher who is serving up meatballs.

At 4/19/2009 7:54 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

They've won three in a row against a team that had been going really well and Papi chipped in with two base hits. Youk's on fire and the offense shows sign of life. The team will only get better, unbelievable better, when John Smoltz joins the rotation. Papi is experienced enough to fix what is wrong...that's what April is for, JB.

Great to hear from you, as always. Have a great weekend and enjoy afternoon Red Sox baseball. I'm going to the UCONN women's parade in Hartford, but the game will be on the car radio. Loud...

At 4/19/2009 7:55 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Jim Rice' career ended when his vision deteriorated. He was never the same at the end. Just for your information, JB. Talk to you soon.


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