Claymotion & Bronx, Here We Come...Boston 10 Kansas City 3
The magic number for cliching a wild card spot in the 2009 postseason is down to three for the Boston Red Sox. Their resounding 10-3 win over the KC Royals coupled with another loss by the sliding and self-destructing Texas Rangers took two games off that number, which was five. Thanks must go to the stars of last night's contest, Big Papi David Ortiz, who had three base hits and, most of all, starter Clay Buchholz, who was feeling sick with a cold for the past few days. He commented on his "under the weather" status after he spun another beauty...
“I was expecting to have to battle through, especially after the first inning. (In the first) I threw some good pitches that got hit, and left some pitches up, and I was able to bounce back the next inning, and go on a pretty good roll. Even when I didn’t feel good in Triple A, I still thought I had a chance to go out there and win a game,’’ Buchholz said. “That’s what it’s coming to now. It’s a different ballgame up here, but obviously if you can go out and throw some pitches for strikes and get some outs in some big situations, all it’s going to do is help you, so I feel like I’m doing a better job of that.
Boy, is he! He pitched into the seventh inning and goose egged the Royals, whiffing eight and walking nobody. He is the best number three starter in the American League if not all of Major League Baseball, a rapidly maturing talent capable of beating anyone, anytime. Ramon Ramirez was brought in to finish the seventh, which he did, and take care of the eighth, which he did not. He gave up the three Royals runs. Takashi Saito came in and allowed two hits and one walk to finish the game. Clay was by far the best Red Sox pitcher of the night and I believe Sox skipper Terry Francona would have kept him in there for another inning or so had he been feeling 100%. Speaking of Tito, here he is with some well deserved praise for last night's starting pitcher...
“He pounded the zone with his other pitches and that gives him a lot of different looks,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “Every five days, he has a chance to go out and be consistent. And he’s been consistently really good. He’s a pretty solid pitcher.”
I agree with every word the skipper uttered. The only weak part of the Red Sox starting rotation is the number five spot. If injuries prevent Timmy Wakefield from reclaiming that spot in 2010, Theo Epstein will do something about it in the off season. But right now Beckett, Lester, Buchholz and Matsuzaka look like the best starting quartet in all of baseball. Let's hope that continues right through October play. I believe it will...I always believe. It's called FAITH.
Now it's on to the Bronx to play the New York Yankees for the last time in the regular season and maybe (a BIG maybe) for the rest of this season. Here are the pitching matchups, which look good until Sunday comes around. I'm sorry, I don't have any faith in Mr. Paul Byrd. Here you go...
9/25/2009 at NYY 7:05 PM ET NESN Lester (14-7) vs. Chamberlain (8-6)
9/26/2009 at NYY 4:10 PM ET FOX Matsuzaka (3-5) vs. Sabathia (18-7)
9/27/2009 at NYY 1:05 PM ET ESPN Byrd (1-2) vs. Pettitte (13-7)
It would be SO nice to clinch the AL Wild Card berth at the place that Ruth didn't build, but we'll get it soon, that's for sure. Taking two of three from the pinstripers would be sweet indeed, though. GO SOX.
You can click on the title of this post for more on the excellent once again Buchholz start and for more on the weekend series with the pinstripers. Have a great weekend and as always, BE WELL. Your comments are eagerly anticipated and will always be answered. Thanks.