Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lester Puts Up Goose Eggs...Paps Ties Steamer's Red Sox Saves Record...Boston 4 Baltimore 0

Boston Red Sox manager Terry "Tito" Francona juggled the top of his batting order, moving JD Drew into the leadoff spot and sliding Pedey Pedroia into his customary number two slot. It paid off bigtime. JD only needed a double to hit for the cycle and Pedey was on base three times with a single and two walks. Way to go, Tito. Pedroia expounded thusly...

“It seems like every time Francona mixes it up, we do something good for him, especially with our pitching staff,” Pedroia said. “If we get those guys some runs, we’re a tough team to beat because those guys, they’re going to give you six, seven innings every time. That worked for us tonight. We gave him some runs and Jon just dealt.”

Jon Lester was at his best for seven full innings, giving up ZERO runs on five hits, walking nobody and striking out eight. Most of those strikeouts were because of his nasty to hit but wonderful to watch curveball. He mesmorized the Birds batters. Here he is...

“I was able to get some curveballs away from guys and make them reach for it,” Lester said. “It’s huge - it gives them a different look, something slower that’s coming down and in. It just complements the fastball and makes the fastball look that much harder.”

He was clearly in charge and ruled the Batimore night. The 'pen took care of the eighth and ninth innings with Jonathon Papelbon closing out the ninth and earning his 132nd save, tying him with Bob "Steamer" Stanley at the top spot of the Boston Red Sox saves leaders list. He had this to say after his nineteenth save of the year...

“I’ve met him (Bob Stanley) before,” Papelbon said. “Real good guy . The era he pitched in was a lot different and in my opinion a lot harder. Obviously they had two and three-inning saves. The game has become a bit more specialized now. I’m dead set in this role, and this is what I want to do.

Jonathon, this is what we WANT you to do. Without you, we're a ten games over .500 baseball team...at best.

It's game number two in Baltimore tonight with Smoltz ready to improve on his first inning disaster facing Hill. A good outing for Smoltzie would mean SO much for the Sox and their fans. First pitch time is a couple minutes after 7pm EDT. Enjoy.

Click on the title of this post for the Globe's Red Sox coverage and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you down the road...soon.

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