In The Dirt Red Sox Loss...LAA 4 Boston 3
What could have been didn't happen Thursday night at Fenway Park as the LA Angels took advantage of a ball that skipped in the dirt between Jason Varitek's legs and rolled all the way to the backstop. That allowed the tying run to score in the seventh inning. The Halos scored the winning run in the ninth off Billy Wagner, his first surrendered run and loss in a Red Sox
uniform, and won the game by a score of 4-3. Beckett was once again sharp, going eight full and allowing those 3 runs on 7 hits, walking not a soul and blowing away 7. His curveball was electric all night long and last night he added to the growing reality that he's back to normal. The ball in question was swung at for strike 3 with the Sox holding a 3-2 lead in the seventh. It was called a passed ball because it DID dip into the dirt but Jason Varitek has excelled in his career with blocking such offerings instead of letting them get behind him. If a ball gets behind him, the runners obviously would advance. With a runner on third this time, the runner advanced to the plate, knotting the game at three. Here's Mr. Beckett...
“I don’t know if it hit a piece of dirt and just stayed down,” Beckett said. “Over the last four years, I can’t remember one time where Tek doesn’t block that ball. He’s so good at it. I just think it took kind of a wild hop and stayed down on him. I guess it’s frustrating, but there isn’t a son of a bitch alive I’d rather have back there,” said Sox starter Josh Beckett. Over the last four years, I can’t remember one time where that’s happened. I think it’s a freak deal. I’ve seen curveballs stay down like that before. Generally they hit the plate or just hit a soft piece of dirt or something. I’m quite sure that’s what happened, because usually my curveball bounces higher than that.”
Josh is right but the fact remains...this has happened in two straight games and three times in the past two weeks. Am I worried? Hell, no. The Wild Card lead over the Rangers shrinks just a little bit to 6 games. So what? With the way Boston victimized and beat the Angels on Wednesday (see post below), maybe this was poetic justice. The most important thing is this...Beckett is getting back to being vintage Beckett, someone we all missed for a few weeks earlier this summer.
Boston now goes to Baltimore, a club they have effectively handled this year, for a three game series. Then they travel to Kansas City to play the KC Royals, another "cake" series with a team they can and will take care of. Here are the Oriole pitching matchups, just for you, my Constant Readers...
9/18/2009 at Bal 7:05 PM ET NESN Buchholz (5-3) vs. Guthrie (10-14)
9/19/2009 at Bal 7:05 PM ET NESN Lester (13-7) vs. Hernandez (4-8)
9/20/2009 at Bal 1:35 PM ET NESN Matsuzaka (2-5) vs. Berken (5-11)
Let's sweep 'em. Click on the title for more on last night's frustrating but in no way threatening Red Sox loss and as always, BE WELL. I mean that. Your comments, except for BFW's, are sorely missed. BFW has always been there lately. Hey, thanks for stopping in to my little corner of the "Blue Nowhere." Y'all come on back.