Well, the Red Sox are rolling right now. This was their first road series win since they took 2 of 3 from the Yankees near the end of May. This is their first road sweep since they took 2 of 2 from the Orioles on April 20 and 21st. This is their first 3 game road sweep of the season.
The Indians were hot, even though they hadn't beaten the greatest of teams in their winning streak. The Giants are 30-40, the D-Bax are a game below .500 and the Rockies are 22-48 (5-31 on the road). But they were still a pretty hot team that was rolling with alot of momentum.
This series came down to a few key plays. There was Damon's homerun in the top of the 9th in the first game that gave the Sox a cushion. Then his catch in the bottom of the inning to end the game and rpevent the tying run from scoring. Tuesday night, Trot Nixon made a sensational catch to rob extra bases from the Indians and keep Cleveland out of the game. Last night, a pair of doubles strung together by Payton and Olerud gave the Sox a 5-4 lead which they would hold.
As it is right now, the Red Sox are in good position. We're only a game behind Baltimore (who just lost Surhoff to the DL) and 4 games ahead of the Yankees. We have a visit to Philadelphia coming up this weekend. Meanwhile, the Yankees host the Mets (the Yankees are on a 13 game homestand, the Red Sox do not have a homestand over 10 games/days this season. weird.) and the Orioles play the Braves in Atlanta.
Speaking of the New York Yankees, here's a thought about them as I've seen them "dominate" on their 2 week homestand:
The myth that Don Mattingly is a great hitting coach. Mattingly was a great hitter. Anyone that retires with a career average over .300 is pretty dam good at hitting. It seems as though every time I turn on ESPN or Fox or YES! when I'm at school, and a Yankee hitter does something good, they show Mattingly or talk about him and what a great job he is doing. Frankly, I just don't see how he could fail at his job. Jeter, Matsui, Sheffield, Rodriguez, Posada, and Tino all excelled at hitting. The 10 regular hitters playing for the Yankees have a combined 2005 salary of $106.6 million. How the heck could somebody fail given those players. Mattingly hasn't worked with mediocre hitters to make them great like Papa Jack has with David Ortiz. Ortiz wasn't a power hitter before he got to Boston. Now he's one of the top homerun hitters in baseball.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
I have to admit, I never thought we were going to win this game until the 27th out was recorded. Our pen is too bad and theirs was too good. We had our 5th best starter against their best. We had a JV lineup in to bat against the lefty Lee.
So how'd we win? Offensive contributions from nearly everyone. Payton went 1 for 5 with a big double, Renteria had a great night at the plate with a double and a homer, Ortiz went 2 for 4 with a double, Manny went 1 for 3 and walked twice, Millar went 2 for 4, Olerud came off the bench and went 3 for 4 with a big homerun, and Mueller added an RBI single.
For some reason unkown to me, Embree came into the game in the 6th with the bases loaded, 0 outs, and the score 2-1 in favor of Cleveland. He did well in the inning though striking out Hernandez and inducing an inning ending double play. He was unable to pitch around a Renteria error in the 7th though and I could just hear the phone lines of WEEI filling with angry people against Embree and Renteria. The bats picked up the pitchers though and the Sox completed the 3 game sweep.
The Indians were red hot coming into this series, having won 9 in a row. Then, we came to town and swept them. Pretty dam impressive if you ask me.
The Orioles lost to Toronto and the Yankees lost to Tampa. The Sox are now only a game behind Baltimore for 1st place in the division. We have a day off tomorrow while Baltimore and New York continue their series.
The Man of the Game is John Olerud who went 3 for 4 with a homer, 2 RBI, and a Run. He had a game tying homer in the 7th, and a big single in the 8th that got the Sox within 1 run and continued a rally that tied the game.