Friday, September 30, 2005


So here are the possible situations:
If we win on both Saturday and Sunday, we win the division outright and play Anaheim.
If we win on either Saturday or Sunday and the Indians lose on both days, we tie the division and play New York on Monday to determine the division winner and if we lose, we still win the Wild Card.
If we win on either Saturday or Sunday and the Indians win on either Saturday or Sunday, we force a playoff for the division against New York and if we lose, we still win the Wild Card.
If we win on either Saturday or Sunday and the Indians win on both Saturday and Sunday, we play New York in New York for the division. If we win, we win the division. If we lose, we play Cleveland for the Wild Card.
If we lose both Saturday and Sunday and the Indians win on either Saturday or Sunday, we lose the division and play Cleveland.
If we lose both Saturday and Sunday and the Indians win on both Saturday and Sunday, we lose the division and lose the Wild Card.

The only way we are completely out of the playoffs come Monday morning is if we lose our last 2 games and Cleveland wins their last 2. If we win on either Saturday or Sunday, we will at least have a playoff game against New York and/or Cleveland and at most, clinch a playoff berth.

Tomorrow is Game 2 of The Big Series. Randy Johnson against Tim Wakefield. The last two times these pitchers clashed, it was a 1-0 Yankee win. I anticipate another pitcher's duel. Johnson has beaten us 4 times this year and Wakefield is on a tear. Both of these guys are big game pitchers that are capable of digging down for that extra something.

If we want to win this game, we need our lefties to hit Johnson. Career wise, Damon is 2 for 15, Ortiz is 2 for 14, Olerud is 0 for 5. That's 4 for 34 or .118. Overrall Red Sox hitters are 44 for 223 (.197). We're going to need to build up some runs the hard way against Johnson. I'd like to see Alex Cora in the lineup. I'd like to see the Red Sox build up Johnsons pitch count and get him out of the game.

Jon Garland will take the mound for the White Sox against the Indians. If Chicago, who will probably start more than 2 of their typical starters like they did on Friday, beats Cleveland, there is no way we will be out of the playoff picture come Monday morning. The same goes for if we win. If both of these things happen, we're in the playoffs no matter what.

Speaking of the playoffs, the White Sox clinched homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. The Angels are a game behind us and New York for the 2nd seed in the AL post-season. The Cardinals, Braves, and Padres have all clinched their divisions. The Cardinals need to win their last 2 games in order to be the sole 100 win team this season. The Padres are one entire game above .500. The Astros are 1 game above Philadelphia for the NL Wild Card.


What a start by David Wells. He looked shaky at first but he settled down nicely. The Red Sox were also capable of capitalizing on Wang's inaiblity to throw strikes, and the Yankees lapses in defense and scored enough runs for the win. The pitching was the story of this game though. Wells pitched 7 getting it to the reliable part of the bullpen. Bradford was brought on to get Sheffield, he did. Myers came in to get Matsui, and after 12 pitches, he did. Timlin was brought in for a 4 out Save, and he got it. He also struck out 3 of the 5 men he faced. He also tied the Red Sox record for appearances in a season with 80.

Someone posted a comment on my previous post. The basic gist of it what that David Ortiz doesn't play the field, therefore he isn't really a player, therefore he doesn't deserve the MVP. Here's a problem with that argument. If there was no DH, Ortiz would most definately be playing first ahead of Millar. He isn't Edgar Martinez who is physically unable to play first base. When he needs to play, such as in interleague games, he plays first base. He had a nice defensive World Series including the play when he threw out Marquis at 3rd base.

I'm not saying Papi is going to win a Gold Glove. I'm not even saying he is a good defensive first baseman. The fact of the matter is, without him, this team wouldn't have even been in the hunt this season. He has carried this club for stretches of this season. He is a clutch hitter who is putting up ridiculous numbers. In my opinion, he's the MVP, despite his being a DH. Anyone who uses the DH argument, in my opinion, is either an overly puristical baseball fan, or has something against Ortiz/Boston/the Red Sox.


Is there any doubt that David Ortiz is not only the Most Valuable Player, but the clutchest hitter in baseball? No, there isn't. Last night's win was a demonstration of this team's ability to fight back when they're up against the wall. The win also saw David Ortiz and Johnny Damon break out of their slumps. When these guys are hitting, our offense is incredibly good. When they aren't, we can't score runs unless a few guys in the bottom of the order are hot.

We take some emotional momentum into The Big Series with New York. Here are the pitching matchups:

Game 1: Wang (8-4, 4.02) vs. Wells (14-7, 4.42)
Game 2: Johnson (16-8, 3.79) vs. Wakefield (16-11, 3.96)
Game 3: Mussina (13-8, 4.41) vs. TBA

The best matchup is Game 2, Johnson has pitched well against us beating us 4 times this season, Wakefield has been on one of his tears the past month or so.

We need to win 2 of 3 to tie the division and force a playoff, which would be played at Yankee Stadium. A sweep wins us the division. Meanwhile, we're still tied with Cleveland for the Wild Card and they play the White Sox who just clinched the Central but are still vying for home field advantage. If we tie with Cleveland, the tie-breaker will be at Fenway. If all three tie, we play the Yankees in New York for the division and the loser plays Cleveland for the Wild Card.

I think we can sweep if we win the first game. That will be the toughest to win. Wang has pitched well and we haven't seen too much of him. Wells, on the other hand, has been hurt lately and the Yankees know him inside and out.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Here's some hardcore, as it happens thoughts and analysis of the Red Sox game.

Russ Adams begins the game with a lengthy at-bat forcing Arroyo to really work. He grounds out to 2nd. Arroyo grooves a "curveball" that looks like a slow cutter and Catalanotto drills it 420 feet to the triangle for a stand up triple. The next batter, Vernon Wells, hits a homerun into the Monster Seats. 2-0 Blue Jays. Arroyo comes back with a strikeout, then Eric Hinske hits a freak single to 3rd that Mueller couldn't play due to its oddness. Greg Zaun then pops out in the infield.

Johnny Damon begins the Red Sox attack with a weak grounder back to the pitcher. Damon continues to struggle in the 2nd half of the year and when he struggles, our offensive machine struggles. Renteria, however, is not struggling. He comes to the plate 10 for his last 22 at-bats and makes it 11 for his alst 23 with a homerun to center. Lilly falls behind Ortiz 3-0 but David is unable to capitalize and eventually strikes out. Manny ends the inning with a weak fly out.

Meanwhile, the Yankees and Orioles are scoreless in the 1st, as are the Devil Rays and Indians.

The Blue Jays begin the 2nd with a fly out by Reed Johnson. Gabe Gross fouls off a 3-1 pitch and it is caught by Varitek. Hill works a 2 out walk, Adams grounds out back to Arroyo to end the inning.

Meanwhile, the Orioles are up 1-0 after a homerun by Javy Lopez.

Varitek extended his long stretch of poor at-bats with a strikeout. Millar hits a hard shot off the wall in left for a double. Bill Mueller works a 4 pitch walk. Even though he got ahead in the count, Nixon grounds out to the first baseman who throws to 2nd for a fielder's choice. The play does advance Millar to 3rd for Graffanino who is 5 for 10 against Lilly. Lilly once again falls behind the count. 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, bad call and its 3-2, throw over to first, pop foul the first baseman catches it. End of the inning, still 2-1 Blue Jays but at least Graffanino makes Lilly work a bit and it appears that the Red Sox are getting close to mounting a rally.

The O's are still up 1-0 in the 3rd and the Indians are still tied at 0 with Tampa in the 3rd.

Frank Catalonotto, who is 5 for 8 in the series and hit a 420 foot triple, leads off the 3rd with a solo homerun to right field. 3-1 Blue Jays. The anger starts to rise. Arroyo gets ahead of Wells but Vernon hits a single. The croud is incredibly silent at this point. Koskie pops up for the first out of the inning. Arroyo got ahead of Hinske 0-2 but Arroyo missed with a high fastball and Hinske crushed it to center, giving the Jays a 5-1 lead. Three homeruns and a 420 foot triple given up by Arroyo is Dinardo warms in the pen. Greg Zaun grounds out. Thankfully, only the heart of the Blue Jays order is doing damage. But Arroyo is 4 runs behind and over 60 pitches into this game. The bullpen is already stressed from the doubleheader on Tuesday. Reed Johnson flies out to left to end the inning but the Red Sox are further behind.

Damon hit a fly ball to center and Johnson appears to have trapped it but the replays are not conclusive. The ump hustled out to center to make the call though. Damon receives a possible gift single. Renteria works a walk and it appears that with the big bats up there, the Red Sox might be able to do something. It's weird, I'm almost more comfortable when the Sox are behind than when we lead. Ortiz swings at the first pitch he sees depsite Renteria walking on 5 pitches and flies out to center. Ortiz is in the midst of a 3 for 28 slump. Strike, ball, ball, strike, swing and a miss strike three. 2 outs for the struggling Varitek who is 0 for 1 with a K. Tek quickly falls behind 0-2. Foul, foul, ball just low, ball high, ball low. Full count, baserunners in motion. Foul ball. Ball 4. Bases loaded, Millar comes up as the potential tying run. Once again after a walk, the Red Sox swing on the first pitch and it results in another fly out. The good news is they're making Lilly work and appear to be getting closer to scoring. The bad news is, they haven't done it yet and the Blue Jays aren't getting too fooled by Arroyo. We're running out of time.

Baltimore still leads New York 1-0 in the 5th. Cleveland and Tampa are scoreless in the 5th.

Arroyo walks Gabe Gross to begin the 4th as the bullpen stirs for the Red Sox. The #9 hitter Hill hits a curve to left for a single. Dinardo resumes warming up. Arroyo looks bad and doesn't seem as though he will be pitching much longer. Arroyo walks the leadoff man Adams. Francona emerges from the dugout to pull Arroyo who pitched like crap. We really needed him to come up with a quality start with the bullpen being depleted the day before and with the playoff races being so tight. Lenny Dinardo comes into the game with the bases loaded and nobody out and the Jays already up by 4 and poised to go up by more.

On Dinardo's first pitch Catolonotto hits a double off the wall, making him a single shy of the cycle. It scores 2 giving Toronto a 7-1 lead. There are runners on 2nd and 3rd with 0 outs. Wells strikes out for the 1st out of the inning. Koskie walks on 5 pitches to reload the bases for Hinske. Hinske strikes out for the 2nd out of the inning. Zaun flies out to right to end the inning. The Red Sox have not overcome a deficit of more than 6 runs this season.

In Baltimore, Alex Rodriguez has hit a solo HR to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the 6th. The Indians and devil Rays are still locked at 0-0 in the 7th.

Mueller leads off the 4th by swinging at the first pitch and popping it up. Way to respond, Sox. Nixon grounds out weakly to 1st. It seems that Lilly has settled. This is bad, bad news. Graffanino ends the inning with a weak fly out. An absolutely terrible response inning for the Red Sox. Lilly has settled in and the Blue Jays can now feast on our worn out, crappy bullpen.

Reed Johnson flies out to center. Gross grounds out. Hill walks with 2 outs. Adams grounds out. Dinardo has pitched well apart from the double he yielded on the 1st pitch of his outing.

Damon flies out to center. Renteria doubles to left. He is the only Sox player who has hit well in this game. Ortiz singles to the gap in left center, knocking in Renteria. 7-2 Blue Jays. The Devil Rays take a 1-0 lead over Cleveland and the Yankees are threatening in Baltimore. Ball 1 to Manny. Ball 2, ball 3, ball 4. New York takes a 2-1 lead over the Orioles. Once again, Varitek falls behind in the count, 0-2. Johnson makes a diving catch to rob Tek of a hit and 2 runs and Ortiz nearly gets doubled off. Millar flies out to end the inning. We needed to get a few runs in this inning, instead, we only got 1. Millar has left 5 men in his last 2 ABs.

Catalonotto is retired via groundout. It is the first time in 7 at-bats since he hasn't recorded a hit. Dinardo robs Wells with a nice play. Koskie grounds out. Dinardo has retired 9 of the 11 men he has faced since allowing that 2 run double.

Tampa Bay hangs on against Cleveland 1-0 going into the bottom of the 9th. The Orioles have the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the 2nd but still trail 2-1. The Red Sox are running out of time and need to come up with a big inning, putting a crooked number on the board.

Lilly remains in the game despite throwing 91 pitches. He does have a 5 run lead though and he is facing the bottom of the roder. He begins the inning by getting Mueller to ground out. Mueller is hitless. The Indians get the leadoff man on against Tampa. Nixon has a truly pathetic one pitch at-bat that results in a flyout. Graffanino hits one off the Monster, he tries to extend it into a double for some reason and is thrown out on a questionable call. The inning ends as Graffanino runs into an out down by 5. The Red Sox look laughable out there. How the heck have we won 92 games this season?

Cleveland grounds into a double play and are down to their last out still down 1-0 in the bottom of the 9th. Travis Hafner grounds out to end the game. The Red Sox and Yankees take a brief 0.5 game in the Wild Card as the Indians have lost 2 straight.

Dinardo remains on the mound in the 7th. He and Renteria have been the only two Sox players that have played well today. Hinske grounds out. Dinardo walks Zaun. Zaun advances to 2nd on a wild pitch. Mike Myers warms in the pen. Zaun advances to 3rd on a Johnson groundout. Gross flies out to the track in center to end the inning.

The Red Sox failure to make Lilly work allows him to stay in the game. Damon starts the 7th with a crappy at-bat. He swings at the first pitch (not something new for the Sox tonight) and grounds out. The sole Sox hitter of the night, Renteria, comes to the plate as Lill crosses the 100 pitch mark. Manny Delcarmen warms up in the Sox pen. Dinardo is probably done after 4 innings of 0 earned run relief. Lilly comes back from down 3-0 to make the count full. The payoff pitch is a ball and the Red Sox get a 1 out baserunner for the slumping middle of the order. Lilly has walked 5 but we've swung at his first pitch way too much. We have shown no patience at the plate. Ortiz bunts but it is a terrible bunt. The catcher fields it and throws to second to retire Renteria. For some reason its scored a sacrifice but he was most assuredly bunting for a hit. With the righty Ramirez coming up, Lilly is finally taken out of the game. The scoring is finally corrected and it is scored as a 2-5 fielder's choice. Vinny Chulk comes on to releive Lilly. Manny pops up to end the inning. The Sox have left 8. I really feel like throwing my computer out the window at this point because we're playing like shit.

The Yankees take a 2-1 lead into the top of the 9th, looking to get an insurance run.

Manny Delcarmen comes in releiving Dinardo. He went 4 innings, allowing 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 earned runs, 3 walks, 2 Ks, and 0 HRs. He allowed 2 of 3 inherited runners to score. He has kept us in the game, we just have refused to capitalize on it. At the very least, Dinardo has saved the bullpen. Hill grounds out to short. The Orioles go to the bottom of the 9th down by a run against the Yankees. Russ Adams walks. Adams moves to 2nd on a fielder's choice hit into by Catalanotto (how many different ways have I spelled that?). Gibbons begins the Orioles 9th with a groundout against Rivera. BJ Suhoff lines out and the Orioles are down to their last out. Wells flies out to end the Toronto 8th. Javy Lopez strikes out to end the game. New York wins 2-1.

The Yankees take a 0.5 game lead in the division and a theoretical 1 game lead in the wild card. After scoring 17 runs yesterday, the Orioles were only able to muster 1 against the Yankees. We need a serious comeback to keep pace with New York. Varitek flies out to begin the inning against Chulk. Olerud comes up to pinch hit for Millar. Olerud works a 1 out walk. The Sox have been walked 6 times but none of the recipients have come around to score. Mueller lines a single to center. Chulk is releived for lefthander Scott Schoenweis. We need to get some runs. We don't need to tie it right now, but we need to make it close for the 9th. Right here would be a perfect spot for Gabe Kapler to be pinch hitting if he weren't hurt. I fear a double play. It seems as though he always does it. Nixon doesn't ground into a double play, instead he grounds into a fielder's choice that moves the runners to 2nd and 3rd. Graffanino comes up with 2 on and 2 out. Tony fouls out and the Sox strand 2 more to make it an even 10.

Myers releives Delcarmen who threw a scoreless 8th. So far, our bullpen has performed very well. It's a pity they couldn't do this last night. Koskie grounds out to 2nd. Hinske lines out. Zaun grounds out.

Johnny Damon leads off the bottom of the 9th. It is his 5th time leading off an inning. The only time he has reached has been on a questionable trap call. Miguel Batista warms for Toronto. We've only had a leadoff man reach once tonight. The trend continues as Damon grounds out to 1st. Renteria strikes out. Ortiz is going to line out I think to end the game. He does hit a line drive but it falls into the outfield for a basehit. Manny comes up. The tying run is on triple deck. Manny fouls out to end the game. We fall a game back of New York in the division and are still tied with Cleveland for the Wild Card. I picked the wrong game to try out this "as it happens" things. I am pissed.


The primary reason it is difficult to sweep doubleheaders, in my opinion, is that you use up your top pitchers in the 1st game. The winning team typically needs to utilize their top set-up man and closer in order to win the first game. Then they typically can't use them in the 2nd game. That's what happened in the 2nd game. On any other day, we probably win that game. Schilling wouldn't have had to go deep into the 7th. We could have used Papelbon and Timlin to end the game. We probably would have won.

The notion that Craig Hansen should be the closer for this team is laughable. It was laughable when people running sites like Boston Dirt Dogs suggested it after his impressive debut. The guy is still a kid. He's got great stuff, but he hasn't proven himself yet. We're not some crappy team willing to experiment, we're the Boston Red Sox. You need to EARN your spot on this team. It isn't just given to you after one good performance.

Apparently, an anonymous member of the Red Sox clubhouse was ragging on Curt Schilling. "When he comes into the game, people cheer him like he's the Pope? You think they'd let Pedro get away with this? Why does he get a free pass?"

Now, my guess as to who the player is Foulke. Think about it, Foulke has been crapped on by everyone in Red Sox Nation for pitching poorly due to injury. Yet Schilling pitches poorly with an injury and get standing ovations even when he allows 3 runs in an innings. Foulke was just as big of a part as Schilling in last years Wild Card and World Series victories, if you ask me.

I'm not saying what was said should have been said to the media. But I understand why it was thought. I mean, I love Schilling. But I love everyone who won the World Series last year. That means Bellhorn, Foulke, Cabrera, Pedro, D-Lowe, and a number of other players not with the team or not helping the team. And in my opinion, Schilling has been getting a free pass compared to the crap players like Foulke, Pedro and Bellhorn have gotten. I remember a few years ago people complained that Pedro wasn't doing enough to stay in shape over the off-season. Curt Schilling showed up to Spring Training visibly overweight. How the hell was he supposed to rehab a bad ankle while his body was adjusting to some extra pounds?

We love Curt when he speaks his mind. When Pedro did it, we hated him. We worship Curt for pitching through an injury, we forget about Pedro's outing in Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS. We praise Curt as some sort of savior to the Red Sox, but in reality, this team was nothing until Pedro got here. And guess what, without Foulke or Bellhorn, we don't win the World Series last year even if Schilling pitched on two healthy ankles.

Unlike most members of Red Sox Nation, I appreciate what Foulke, Pedro, and Bellhorn did for us last year. Yes, Foulke was an a-hole for calling the fans Johnny Burger King. Yes, Pedro was greedy for going to the Mets for more money (weird how Boston Dirt Dogs can criticise Pedro for wanting a few million dollars and when you look at their site, its covered in advertisements and links to buy their crappy t-shirts), and yes Bellhorn wasn't doing it for us. However, these men brought a World Series Championship to the city of Boston for the first time since 1918. That gives them, ALL OF THEM, a free pass. But only Schilling has gotten one.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I really hate how we have to play a doubleheader. It screws up our rotation, wears out our bullpen and doubleheaders are notoriously difficult to sweep, which is what we need to do. The good news is, as I type this, both New York and Cleveland are losing. The bad news is, we're tied and New York and Cleveland are playing the lifeless Orioles and D-Rays, respectively.

Rodney Harrison is out for the season. This is a huge loss but I won't be predicting doom like some national sports writers. Yes, Harrison is a great player and a leader, and yes, our secondary is already a little thin, but the Patriots have a great ability for adjusting to a player's absence. Just compare the offensive line play of the Pats in the 1st half after Light went down and the 2nd without Light. We should be fine, but it will be more difficult to three peat and we can't afford too many more injuries in the secondary.

Monday, September 26, 2005

12 OF 12 BY #12

The entire game, Patriots fans everywhere had to endure the nearly intolerable Roethlesberger ball washing by CBS's announcers. At the end of the game, their silence about this "legendary" "quarterback" was golden.

Roethlesberger went into this game with a ridiculous passer rating because he almost never passes. To the Steelers, a pass is a trick play like a flea flicker or a double reverse. This game, he was forced to attempt to be a quarterback and the country saw that he isn't one.

The Patriots started the game off well. They forced the Steelers to go 3 and out. Dillon ran for 1, then 6, then 7. Brady threw to Givens for 15. Faulk ran for 3, then Watson caught a 10 yard pass. Dillon took it to the end zone from the 4 to give the Pats an early lead.

The Steelers repsonded quickly when Ward caught a pass from Roethlesberger and went 85 yards for a touchdown to tie the game. The Patriots response was a 3 and out including a sack of Brady for a loss of 11.

The Steelers drove down to our 15 yard line and kicked a field goal. Throughout the drive, the Pats were able to come close to Roethlesberger only to let him slip away. On the drive, Rodney Harrison hurt his right leg on an ugly fall. He wouldn't return.

The Patriots offense put together what looked like a solid scoring drive. The Pats couldn't get much going on the ground but were able to convert some key 3rd downs to get the ball to the Steelers' 14. Brady hit Faulk on a screen and Faulk was one man away from taking it in for 6. That man was able to strip Faulk though and a fortuitous bounce landed right in the arms of the Steelers.

Pittsburgh screwed up big time on their ensuing offensive posession. Randle El caught a Roethlesberger pass and ran down to our 11. Before he was about to be wrapped up, he attempted a foolish lateral that Hines Ward couldn't handle. Eugene Wilson, a.k.a. The Presence, was able to fall on the ball.

The Patriots went 3 and out on their posession and lost Matt Light to injury. After Light, the blind side tackle, the most important offensive line position, was injured, the Steelers attacked our left side with gusto and got alot of pressure on Brady forcing Tom to throw the ball away on many occasions.

Parker got a 10 yard run through the middle for a Pittsburgh 1st down but the Steelers once again stumbled. On 3rd down, Wilson seemed to intercept a terrible pass by Roethlesberger but the play was challenged and overruled. Roethlesberger pooch punted and it was nearly downed inside our 1 yard line but it rolled into the end zone for a touchback.

The Patriots once again did nothing on offense. Dillon ran for a 1 yard loss, Brady threw an incomplete pass, then threw to Brown for no gain. Miller once again punted the ball.

The Steelers drove the ball to our 29 yard line and lined up for a field goal. The kick was good but the play was taken off the books as the Steelers false started. The 52 yard attempt after the penalty missed wide left.

The Pats got the ball with 2:34 left in the 1st half and attempted a scoring drive. Brady threw mostly to Faulk who had some big runs after catches. The Pats got the ball down to the Pittsburgh 3 but a false start penalty moved it back to the 8. Brady was pressured on 1st and goal and his pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Once again, the Steelers were the beneficiaries of a nice bounce and they intercepted the pass. They then took a knee to end the half, going into the locker room with a 10-7 lead.

The Patriots started off the 2nd half with a drive that was hurt by an 8 yard loss on a sack. Vinatierri attempted a 53 yard field goal but it just missed. Roethlesberger and the Steelers responed with another incomplete on 3rd down and were forced to punt. The Patriots got the ball back but then prompty returned it to the Steelers when Faulk fumbled again on a run up the middle. The defense held the Steelers to 3 tho, making the score 13-7.

On the next drive, the Patriots didn't score, but they moved the ball near midfield. Miller's punt and the coverage by Don Davis pinned Pittsburgh back at their 6 yard line. They ran the ball a few times before being stopped and forced to punt. Tim Dwight came up with a nice return that gave the Pats the ball on the Pittsburgh 30. The Patriots were unable to do anything though but they were able to get a field goal to make the score 13-10.

The Steelers answered with a 3 and out. The Patriots got the ball back on their 14 yard line. Brady hit Givens for 14, then Branch for 8, then Brown for 19. After a 5 yard reception by Brown and a 3 yard run by Dillon, Givens had a 30 yard catch to give the Pats a 1st and goal on the 7. Dillon ran outside to the right and took it to the house to give the Patriots a 17-13 lead.

The Steelers couldn't muster much on their next drive and finally the Patriots were able to get to Roethlesberger. With 7:27 left in the game, the Pats drove the ball down field eating up over 4 minutes of clock and putting up 3 more points with a field goal. The field goal would prove vital.

The Steelers, down by 7, embarked on a nice drive with little more than 3 minutes left in regulation. The key to the drive was a 4th and 11 play. Roethlesberger threw downfield to Quincy Morgan who was being covered 1 on 1 by Chad Scott. The pass was incomplete and it looked like Scott was doing a good job of covering Morgan. Scott and Morgan were both making contact with each other. Morgan made the first contact. Chad played the ball and made no efforts to screw up Morgan beyond his own efforts to catch the ball. I mean, does this look like pass interferance?

Wow, Scott's really all over him there. Anyway, the Steelers took advantage of the BS PI call and scored a touchdown.

What happened after the TD is what has happened alot during the past few years. Tom Brady drove the ball down field, hitting receivers on medium routes, the receivers are intelligent enough to get out of bounds, and then the Pats get into scoring range. Then Vinatierri walks out and wins the game with a clutch field goal. That happened on Sunday too. Patriots 23, Steelers 20.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Was there a single Orioles fan in Camden Yards? What a nerve wracking game. It's true that the Red Sox may have gotten away with one, but how many times has Baltimore beaten us by a run because we couldn't capitalize on scoring opportunities? Or Tampa or Toronto. What's important, is that we're tied with New York with 8 games left in the season. We play 1 in Balto then 7 in Boston. Tomorrow, David Wells, with a bad knee, takes the mound against John Maine. Both starters are coming off bad outings. Wells has since taken a cortisone shot, Maine hasn't. Advantage: Wells.

After finishing with the O's, the Red Sox host the pesky Blue Jays for 4 days in Fenway. Then its the Big Series with New York.

To anyone who has been pessimistic about the Sox the past few weeks and scared of the Yankees, remember a few things. We were looking pretty pathetic last postseason, particularly when we lost 19-8 in Game 3. The Yankees are on a tear, but they've been an incredibly streaky team this year. They've gone on similar tears throughout the season. All of a sudden they'll start winning games then just as quickly, they'll revert to being a below average team. On the long run, this has resulted in them being a good team, but in the short run they can either be unbeatable, or incredibly easy to beat.

We can win this, and if we play as well as we are capable of, we will win this.

Just a side note, does anyone else think it is odd that the Red Sox ban the "Yankees Suck" shirts right around the same time Kevin Millar comes up with the motto of the 2005 Red Sox and it is "Fuck Everybody."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Red Sox fans need to stay away from the Charles, Mystic, Neponset, Merrimack, French, Housatanic, and Connecticutt rivers as well as the Cape Cod Canal. I know it looks bad, but it isn't. I know we're in second place now, but on the bright side, we're 0.5 games out of a playoff spot. We have 3 games left with New York so even if we fall a bit further back, we can make it up in the closing series. As we all know from last year, when the Sox get pinned up against the wall, that's when they're the most dangerous.

The good things going for this team:
David Ortiz is hitting like a man posessed.
Manny Ramirez is starting to hit again.
Wakefield has had three really good starts in a row.
Schilling looked amazing the other day.
The offense finally exploded yesterday.
We're home for 7 of the 10 games we have left.
The kids are looking pretty good.
Tek and Trot are due to explode very soon, same with Damon.

I think we're still going to make the post-season, even if we don't win the division. The Indians, who are 0.5 ahead of us in the Wild Card, should be passing the struggling White Sox in the Central. If the White Sox continue to struggle, we should be able to beat them out for the Wild Card. Once we get into the post-season, anything can happen.


The Red Sox haven't put up double digits in runs since August 29th. They haven't put up 15 or more runs since August 10th. Huge night for the middle of the lineup. Ortiz, Manny, Trot, and Tek combined to go 16 for 20, score 12 runs, knock in 12 runs, and hit 5 homers. Ortiz and Manny hit 2 homeruns each, and Nixon was a double shy of the cycle.

The Red Sox desperately needed to win this game, and to win an easy one. New York has been rolling, we have been struggling. Now we have to build on this offensive explosion as well as the solid start by Schilling and rack up a few victories.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


It hadn't happened since December of last season. The Patriots lost. The Patriots lost to an NFC team for the first time since week 4 of the 2003 season against Washington. The Patriots hadn't played that badly since the infamous 31-0 defeat in Buffalo of that same season.

The defense was sporadic at best and the offense was flatter than Nebraska. The Pats got away with it against Oakland in Gillette, but unlike Oakland, the Panthers are a solid, well-balanced team.

The Patriots started off the game by moving back 5 yards thanks to one of many false start penalties. An incomplete pass, a 3 yard run, and another incomplete pass were followed by a punt. The Panthers moved the ball close to midfield and punted putting the Pats back to the 12 yard line. Right then and there, I was worried. The Patriots gameplan is that even if they don't score, they at least move the ball to give the D a rest and to gain an edge in field position. But now, Carolina had the field position advantage.

Once again, the Patriots began the drive with a false start penalty. Thanks to a 15 yard pass to Branch and a defensive holding penalty, the Pats were able to move the ball forward, advancing as far as the 36 yard line. Miller's punt was fielded by the Panthers at their 12, but Smith was able to return it 21 yards to the 33.

The Pats were getting good pressure on Dellhome. This was a key thing because when Dellhome gets pressured, he makes stupid plays. Remember in the Super Bowl two years ago, all of his "great" plays were pretty much jump balls downfield. Dellhome threw to Colbert three times in a row. The first two were incomplete. The third was picked by Starks near midfield. It couldv'e been a huge moment in the game except for the fact that Roosevelt Colvin was penalized for illegal hands to the face, so Carolina got the ball back, and an automatic 1st down. The Panthers once again moved the ball close to midfield, and once again, they punted.

The Patriots started on their 20 after the touchback. Brady hit Brown for 7 yards, and then hit Brown for 71 yards. Brown got most of the yardage after the catch. 1st and Goal on the 1 and Brady hit a wide open Daniel Graham for a touchdown.

The Patriots were on top, but it wasn't in normal Patriot fashion. They didn't grind the ball down the field with short passes and runs. They found a seem and Brown exploited it for a big play, and that was pretty much the entire scoring drive.

The Patriots fell to the same type of drive. The Panthers had a 23 yard pass and a 41 yard pass to set up a Stephen Davis TD run to tie the score.

The Patriots answered with a drive that consisted of a 4 yard run, a run for no gain, and an incomplete pass intended for Faulk. The Panthers drove into Patriot territory before punting, and pinning the Patriots at the 13.

The Patriots started their drive looking good. It was their first really good, consistent drive. Brady hit Givens for a 15 yard gain. Dillon ran for 2. Brady to Givens for 13. Brady to Dwight for 24 and then 9. On 2nd and short at the Carolina 23, Dillon ran for no gain, but the Pats were pushed back thanks to a Dan Klecko holding penalty. On the next play, Brady throws a pick. It looked as if the Pats were at least going to get 3 out of the drive and maybe more, but Brady returned to being inconsistent at the end of the drive.

Colvin began the defensive series with a sack of Dellhome and an 8 yard loss. The Panthers got 16 on the next play though. They then moved the ball to the 33 and hit a 51 yard field goal to get the lead.

The Patriots responded with a drive that consisted of a 14 yard run by Dillon and 4 incomplete passes by Brady. The Panthers returned the punt 76 yards all the way to our 13 yard line. A few Stephen Davis runs plus a pass interferance penalty later and the Panthers are up 17-7.

With 1:37 left in the half, the Patriots got the ball back. They really needed to put up a few points just to keep the game close and go into the locker room with a little bit of momentum. Instead, Brady got sacked and the Pats had to run out the clock.

The Panthers began the 2nd half with a mediocre drive that was aided by a Rodney Harrison unnecesary roughness penalty. They put up 3 more points with a 52 yard field goal.

The Patriots responded with a nice drive that sputtered near the end. Brady hit Branch for 4, Dillon ran for 3, and Branch caught another pass for 5 and a 1st down. Then Dillon was stopped for a loss of 3, but Dwight caught an 8 yard pass and Faulk a 22 yarder to the Carolina 33. Dillon ran for 5, then 1, then Brady threw an incomplete. Vinatierri hit a 45 yard field goal to make it a 10 point game.

On the first play of Carolina's next drive, Mike Vrabel picked off Dellhome and took it to the house to make it a 3 point game. At this point, I thought we were going to win the game. I was wrong.

The Panthers got the ball back but were stopped at their 40 by the defense. The Patriots got the ball back, then got a 1st down up to the 38. Then Hochstein false started for what seemed like the 14th time of the game. Brady threw a pair of incomplete passes. On 3rd and 15, Brady was sacked and lost the ball. Julius Peppers picked it up and ran 10 yards before being taken down at the 12. Another Stephen Davis Touchdown and the Panthers were up by 10 again.

The Patriots next drive was very indicative of how they played the entire game. On the first play, Dillon got called for a hold. Before the next play, Daniel Graham got called for a false start. On 1st and 25 on the 18, Brady hit Branch for only 5. 2nd and 20, again Branch, and again only 5. 3rd and 15, Brady misses Watson. Miller punted and it only went 27 yards. Carolina started at their 45.

Although Carolina only moved the ball 1 yard on their 3 and out drive, they were able to pin the Pats at their 3 yard line. Graham once again had a false start making the situation even worse. From the 2, Brady hit Givens for 6 after an incomplete pass. Miller was able to make a good punt though but the Patriots were wasting time and were on the wrong end of the field position struggle.

The Panthers once again went 3 and out. The Patriots defense was finally showing up. But the offense couldn't muster anything. Time was running out. The Pats went 3 and out. There was less than 7 minutes on the clock in the 4th. The Panthers had a 1st down in their next drive but were only able to get up to the 30.

With less than 4 minutes left, the Patriots got the ball back on their 19. Brady hit Branch for 17. After an incomplete, he threw to Givens for 19. After another incomplete, Brady hit Faulk for 1. On 3rd down, Ricky Manning was called for defensive holding giving the Pats a huge 1st down. Brady threw incomplete to Branch. On 2nd and 10 in Carolina territory, he hit Watson for 7. Then Watson fumbled the ball. Carolina recovered at the 29. The game was effectively over.

With 2:17 left, the Panthers ran the ball, got a 1st down, then kneeled to end the game.

With full credit to the Panthers, the Patriots lost because they shot themselves in the foot. Brady had 23 compeltions and 21 incompletions. He's better than that. Dillon ran for an average of 2.6 yards a rush. He's better than that. The Patriots had 12 penalties for 86 yards, had a crappy punt, a crappy punt coverage, turned the ball over 3 times, had no kickoff or punt return game whatsoever, and dropped the ball too many times. They didn't look like champs, they looked like chumps.

It doesn't get any easier. The Patriots have to go to Pittsburgh to play the North Division Champion Steelers. Then they're home to the West Division Champion Chargers. Then on the road in Atlanta and Denver. It might just be the beginning of the season and the team needs time to gel with no Croenell, and no Weiss, no Bruschi and no Johnson. Or it may be that this team has some serious problems.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


If you look at the scores of these two games, coming to the conclusion that these two teams are exactly the same might seem impossible. However, that's exactly what I think. The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are the same team. Alot of great hitters combined with alot of mediocre pitchers. When the two teams meet, the team that screws up less and rises to the occasion more, will win. The fact that in the past 3 seasons, the Red Sox are winning the series between the two by one game speaks volumes to the similarity of these teams.

Friday was the Red Sox turn to play like crap. Saturday, the Yankees gave it a shot. They couldn't get outs, they played terrible defense, and they couldn't hit. Meanwhile, the Red Sox, Curt Schilling really, pitched well, and capitalized on Yankee mistakes. The end result was a 9-2 victory.

Boston College beat Army 44-7 on Chestnut Hill. After this win and beating BYU. The cupcakes on the schedule are no more though. BC hosts #11 Florida State, who beat Miami last week (we haven't beaten Miami since Flutie did it in '84), next Saturday in their first ever ACC conference game. Then they're on the road at #25 Clemson. BC has a total of 4 ranked teams on their schedule right now. Thankfully though, only two are on the road.

Wakefield faces Randy Johnson tomorrow afternoon at The Stadium. If we win this game, we'll have a 5 game lead with 21 games left and 3 head-to-head games left with the Yankees. Five games is somewhat comfortable, 3 isn't.


I'm gonna start with the Patriots game so my aggravation over the 8-4 loss to the Yankees can subside just a little bit.

The Patriots began their title fourth title defense and the third in a row by playing like the worst team in the league. The Raiders moved the ball with an ease I haven't seen anyone move it against us in years. Seven plays, 72 yards, just over 3 minutes. Two medium yardage plays followed by a pair of 29 and a 28 yard passes. Then the Raiders got in with a short pass.

The Patriots responded with a slightly unimpressive 60 yard, field goal scoring drive. Most of the plays were relative failures but a few big plays on 3rd downs (specifically to Ben Watson) kept the ball moving into field goal range. Halfway through the 1st quarter, and the Champions were down 7-3.

At this point, the Raiders appeared to be the better team on the field. However, their reign as rulers of Gillette Stadium was over after this drive. The defense came out and stopped them. Oakland would eventually regain the lead after the Patriots went up 10-7, but they never looked as impressive as they did in the first eighth of the game.

After trying a deep passing and up the middle strategy on their first drive, the Patriots went with more plays like the passes to Watson. Mid-ranged pass plays to receivers in the open field. They combined this with misdirection plays, play action, and some clever screens. The Raiders defense lacked the patience and discipline to survive the misdirection plays, and their coverage was laughable. Furthermore, they rarely pressured Brady giving him all day to look for weaknesses in their coverage zone.

Starting on their own 32, Brady hit Branch for 29, crossing into Oakland territory. Brady then went to good ole Troy Brown for 20 more yards. After a false start, Brady hit Branch for 10 yards to the Oakland 10. The Pats went back to the run game but it resulted in a loss. Brady, out of the gun, hit Branch for an 18 yard Touchdown. 10-7 with 2:05 left in the 1st.

Lamont Jordan drove down the field in response with 10 other Raiders on his back. Oakland got to the Pats' 25 yard line, tried a Field Goal, and missed it. The Pats sputtered and moved the ball only 7 yards on their next drive. The Raiders had the ball on their 27. Collins threw a homerun ball to Moss, being covered one-on-one by Poole with Harrison giving support way up top. Unfortunately, Poole got too aggressive and tried to make the big play at the wrong time. This resulted in a big play for Oakland. A 73 yard TD pass giving them a 14-10 lead.

The Patriots offense returned to its impressive form. Dillon ran twice, one for 8, the other for a loss of 2. On 3rd and 4, in typical Tom Brady fashion, Givens got a 5 yard pass for a 1st down. Once the Pats got rolling on a drive, they were close to unstoppable. The Raiders were penalized for an illegal substitution. On 1st and 5 from just across midfield, Givens caught a 26 yard pass. Brady then hit Graham for 17 more yards. At the 5, Brady threw an incompletion, and then threw to Tim Dwight for the first time for 5 yards and 6 points. The Point After made the score 17-13. The Patriots would not yield the lead again.

The end of the half consisted of three drives that never went anywhere significant. The Raiders were stopped at their 43, the Pats at their 41, then the Raiders at their 22 to end the half.

The Patriots began the second half with a drive that didn't score, but did accomplish alot. The Patriots got to around midfield and then punted. Josh Miller, who has been great in his 20 games as a Patriot, pinned the Raiders at their own 4. The Raiders then went three and out. The Patriots started the next drive on their 40. Even though they only advanced the ball 7 yards, Miller was able to once again pin Oakland at their own 4. The Raiders once again went 3 and out.

The Patriots started at the Oakland 40. They got to the 31, on the edge of field goal range. On 4th and short, they went for it and got stuffed. Even though they gave the Raiders the ball, they didn't give them great field position. Collins was hit while throwing, the ball popped out, and Vince Wilfork had the wherewithall and ability to grab the ball. The Patriots got the ball on the Oakland 20.

Incomplete pass to Branch, 12 yard completion to Branch, 8 yard run by Dillon. Touchdown. After the blocked extra-point, it was 23-14.

The Raiders started at their 11. They compiled 3 yards in 3 plays and punted. The Pats went 3 and out, but took some time off the clock. They probably should have taken more time off and tried better to get a few 1st downs. They were still able to keep the Raiders from getting great field position.

The Raiders started their last drive of the 3rd quarter with a few scary plays. Crockett went around the end for 19. He then got 7 more to bring the ball near mid-field. But there was a flag. Offensive holding. No-one knew it, but this was the dying gasp of the Raiders. They appeared to rebound with a 6 yard completion to Moss. Those yards were taken back by Mike Vrabel when he sacked Kerry Collins. Collins had often been under pressure but had mostly been able to get rid of the ball before being taken down. Actually, he usually grounded it intentionally but wasn't called for it. After an incomplete pass, the Raiders were forced to punt.

The 4th quarter began with the Patriots up 23-14, in posession of the ball, and being in a 2nd and 6 situation on their 30. The Pats were able to take another minute off the clock and move the ball a few yards before punting. The Raiders were able to drive into Patriots territory, but still had to punt.

With 12:03 left in regulation, the Patriots could seal the game with a long drive, or a score. They got a score. The Pats probably would ahve rather gotten the 84 yards on 10 rushing plays taking up 5:00 of game clock. Instead, they got most of their yardage off big plays and only ate up 2:34 of clock. But they scored and made it a two touchdown, two 2 point conversion.

The Raiders drove again, but were stopped again and forced to punt again. The Pats took up about 3 and a half minutes of the clock in a conservative drive then made a major mistake allowing Oakland to block a punt. The Raiders offense had typically been able to begin their drives very nicely only to see them stall as they drove down the field. After the blocked punt, they had a very short field to work with. They moved the ball 21 yards and into the end zone. The 2 point conversion attempt failed with Randy Moss committing an unecesary PI penalty.

Janikowski missed a field goal earlier and he screwed up once again by kicking the onside attempt out of bounds. Dillon was able to rush for a 1st down, the Pats downed the ball a few times, and Game 1 was over.

The Patriots won 30-20, but the game wasn't that close. The Pats held a stellar offense to only 20 points, which was impressive. But the Patriots offense, with guys like Brady, Dillon, Branch, Graham, Brown, et cetera, was only able to put up 30 points against a terrible defense. Seven of these points were on a drive that was only 21 yards long thanks to a turnover forced by the defense.

For most of the game, the Patriots played New England Patriots football. They did the field position thing, exploited the Raiders weaknesses, and capitalized on mistakes. But the Patriots also had a few lapses in concentration. The very first drive of the game was very poor on the part of New England. The 73 yard TD pass to Moss shouldn't have happened if Poole, who was essentially on an island against Moss, had played more conservatively. The blocked punt and the blocked extra point are frighteningly similar incidents. Maybe its just a coincidence or maybe the kinks will be worked out in the long week between now and playing Carolina, but the special teams cannot be allowing blocks. It would screw up our entire strategy of field position and kicking field goal if we can't get into the end zone.


What's worse than the Yankees beating the Red Sox? Listening to it on Yankee radio with Yankee Information Minister John Sterling. Every time the Yankees hit the ball, whether they hit it fair or foul, soft or hard, on the ground, or in the air, his voice would reach a very excited pitch. The fact that Jeter got more credit for the Matsui-Jeter-Posada throw out of Varitek at home speaks volumes. Granted, it was a quality relay. But Matsui made the initial throw, and Posada was able to hold on despite being knocked on his ass by Tek. And the stupid nicknames Sterling had for every player were sickening. He's the same guy who desecrated the memory of Babe Ruth by calling the steroid popping first baseman Giambino. Pretty soon he'll be calling Mike Mussina the Iron Moose, or maybe the Yankee Dipper (he does that little dip before delivering the ball).

Enough about Sterling. Let's look at how many times the Red Sox F*cked up. That's why we lost this game. We got 11 hits, but scored only 4 runs. We made 4 errors.

The Red Sox got a few "gift" hits to begin the game. They were balls that weren't hit hard but were hit in just the right spot. Sterling went on and on about these hits even in the 8th inning of the game. Anyway, Damon dropped a blooper in front of Lawton. Renteria struck out, followed by Ortiz being fooled on some up and in pitches. Manny hit a 2 out infield single. Nixon was unable to capitalize and hit a foul out.

Jeter and Bernie began the Yankees offensive attack with a pair of groundouts. A-Rod legged out a 2 out double. With a slight shift on, Giambi hit a ground ball into what would normally be a gap. Graffanino was positioned perfectly, but he played too quickly. He didn't take his time to set and throw out Giambi at 1st. Instead, he threw wildly allowing A-Rod to score and Giambi to get to 2nd. The error by Graffanino allowed a run to score, made Wells throw 6 extra pitches, and allowed the Yankees to go through their lineup faster.

The Red Sox appeared to have something going in the 2nd. Varitek hit a broken bat infield single to third. After Millar popped out, Bill Mueller hit a ball squarely into right field. After the basehit, Graffanino hit one to left. It wasn't able to score Varitek because it was hit so hardly, right to Matsui who was able to get it back into the infield very quickly. Damon hit a SAC Fly to score Tek and tie the game. Renteria doubled and a Lawton miscue allowed 2 runs to score on the play. Ortiz wasn't able to continue the rally as he grounded out to short.

The Yankees answered in the bottom of the 2nd with a Posada homerun on an 0-2 pitch followed by three straight groundouts.

The Red Sox appeared to continue their rally. After Manny grounded out, and Trot struck out, Varitek worked a 2 out walk with a very good at-bat. Millar did something productive apart from making T-shirts and hit a double to left. Svuem sent Varitek and thanks to a good throw by Matsui, a good relay by Jeter, and some strength from Posada, Varitek was thrown out. I thought it was somewhat silly to send him considering that you would have 2 in scoring position. Also, throw outs at home are huge momentum changers. It's weird how the Red Sox play such conservative base running, hoping for the big inning, except when it comes to the 90 feet in between third and home. Perhaps this aspect of our strategy should be more consistent with our base running in between the other bases.

The Yankees hit another solo HR in the 3rd, this time by Alex Rodriguez. In the 4th the Red Sox went down in order and with only 6 pitches needed by Small. Previously, Small had been made to work a little bit. But now the Red Sox were going to let him cruise for a bit.

The Yankees claimed the lead with a 2 out RBI single by Jeter into center field. The Red Sox answered in the top of the 5th with 2 pop-outs and a hard line out by Manny. 7 pitches for Small in the 5th. In the bottom of the 5th, Wells was able to hold New York to 0 runs for the first inning all game.

In the 6th, the Red Sox had a bit of a rally but it came to nothing. After Nixon grounded out, and Varitek flew out, Millar was hit by a pitch. Mueller then singled to left. With 2 on and 2 out, Graffanino hit a hard liner, but it was right at Matsui who made the play to end the inning.

The bottom of the 6th was one of the worst innings of baseball you could ever see. Sierra lined out to begin the inning. Posada then hit a relatively hard hit ball down the line towards first. Millar did a good job to stop it, but then he fumbled around with the ball and his throw was unable to eliminate Posada at first. It should have been no-one on with 2 outs. Instead it was 1 on with 1 out. Cano hit a single to center. Posada had to initially stop at 2nd. Then, Damon booted the ball. Posada advanced to 3rd and Cano to 2nd. Then Posada tried to score. He would have been thrown out at the plate if not for a TERRIBLE attempt of throwing made by Renteria. Posada was able to score easily, and Cano moved to 3rd. Instead of 1 on with 2 outs, it was 1 on with 1 out and 1 run in. Wells got Lawton, whose been atrocious with New York, to groundout. He was then pulled for Chad Bradford.

Jeter worked a walk off Bradford. Bernie, hitting from the left, hit a single to score Cano and move Jeter to 3rd. A-Rod hit a single to knock in Jeter and move Bernie to 2nd. Bradford was brought in to pitch to Jeter, Bernie, and A-Rod. He gave up a walk, and two singles to these three guys.

Myers was brought in to face the lefty Giambi. This despite Giambi's 4 for 9 career numbers against Myers. Giambi improved that impressive total to 5 for 10 with an RBI single to center. Myers then got Matsui to hit a deep fly out to finally end the inning.

Poor defense by Millar, Damon, Renteria combined with poor pitching by Wells, Bradford, and Myers, and some good hitting by the Yankes resulted in a 4 run inning that completely altered the dynamics of the game.

The Red Sox were able to create an opportunity for themselves in the 7th and 8th, but weren't able to get more thana run out of it. We lost because we played like crap, plain and simple. If we lose the enxt 2, the race becomes painfully close. It's too close as it is.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


The key to the success of the Red Sox on this homestand, at least as of late, has been the ability of our pitchers to keep the other team's bats from scoring any decent amount of runs. Looking at this team throughout the season, I kept saying to myself "if we get our pitching to perform as well as their capable of, we're gonna kick alot of ass."

Although the offense hasn't scored more than 7 runs since the 29th of August, we've been able to win every game since then except Monday's makeup against the White Sox.

This last time through the rotation, our starting pitchers were able to go 8 innings or more on 4 occasions. They've averaged just over 8 innings in those 5 starts.

Keith Foulke looked rpetty good in his return to the Red Sox. If he comes back and can pitch as well as he did last season, that will really help out the bullpen alot. Without him, the only real dependable guy out there is Timlin and he's been overworked this season already.