Sunday, April 09, 2006
So Coco Crisp didn't start tonight because he jammed a finger last night sliding into a base. Adam Stern, a.k.a. Mr. Canada, started in his spot. It worked out rather nicely.
Wakefield rebounded from an atrocious start and had a really solid outing. He went 6 innings allowing only 1 run that was somewhat of a strange run. In the bottom of the 1st, Newhan reached on an error by Mark Loretta. Newhan advanced to 2nd via the stolen base. He moved to third when he tagged up then scored on a Tejada single. That would be it for the Baltimore run scoring.
Wake struggled at the outset of the 6th inning but he settled down big time, striking out the side with runners on the corners and no outs. A key for Wakefield was that he threw strikes. Of the 93 pitches he threw, 63 were strikes.
Josh Bard also had a good game behind the plate and at the plate. No passed balls and a 1 for 4, scoring a pair of runs.
Stern was the big offensive hero, going 2 for 5 with a pair of RBI singles, one in the 5th and one in the 6th. He also had a good day in the field.
The Red Sox scraped their runs together in the 5th very nicely. Last season, we were all about the big inning and the long ball. It was nice to see that we can eke out runs as well.
J.T. Snow led off the inning with a long single off the wall in right. Snow had a good day going 2 for 3 and walking. He also recorded the final out with a snow cone catch of a foul pop. Josh Bard hit a single behind Snow. With runners on 1st and 2nd, and the Sox down by 1, Alex Gonzalez sacrifice bunted moving both runners into scoring position. Stern then knocked in Snow. Loretta scorched a liner right at the second baseman Chris Gomez. Stern was caught off the bag but Gomez threw the ball away allowing Bard to score and the inning to continue.
The Red Sox never hit anything other than a single, but it was enough.
Timlin didn't look all that sharp in the 8th, allowing a single, throwing a wild pitch, and then walking Millar, but he was able to get out of it by inducing Ramon Hernandez to ground out.
Foulke came into the game to pitch the 8th. This was the first time he has been used in a really meaningful situation. He did very well, retiring the side in order with 12 pitches, 9 for strikes. He got the first two betters with strikeouts, then Newhan lined out to Snow to end the inning. He looked real sharp.
Papelbon did not look as sharp as he has looked. Perhaps it was adjusting to a different catcher, and perhaps it was pitching two days in a row. He was only a closer very sparingly in the minors with Pawtucket. He fell behind hitters, allowed a leadoff double, a long fly out to center, then hit Tejada with a pitch. He was able to get out of the inning with a pair of pop outs and the game was over with the Red Sox on top 4-1.
The Sox improve to 5-1 going into the home opener on Tuesday. Josh Towers will go against Josh Beckett.
The Man of the Game is Keith Foulke. He looked better than anyone else out there on the mound or at the plate. I know it was only a Hold, and it was against the 8, 9, and 1 hitters, but he looked spectacular, getting guys out with the fastball and the changeup.
This game was a great game. This game was a fair game. This game was a physical game. This game was a close game.
I've often derided Boston College for their unique ability to blow the big game that should be won. Their loss to Syracuse 2 years ago in football. Their loss to Villanova in the tournament a few weeks ago after leading by 16. Their inability to achieve levels of greatness that should be achieved. However, last night, Boston College capped off a season in which they rose above what they should be with a very close 2-1 loss to Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
Boston College wasn't supposed to contend in the Hockey East or the NCAAs when the season began. But this team gelled, soared through the Hockey East tournament after a near loss to Vermont, and rolled through the NCAAs until coming up against a powerhouse in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin was simply the better team. You gotta give them credit. BC has a hell of a season and next year looks to be even better. I think they'll win it all next year.
This is the second time the Sox have come out on top of a 2-1 game. Both times, we probably would have lost the game with last year's team.
Schilling was thrilling once again. Seven innings, 3 hits, 4 Ks, 1 earned run. Exactly what we need from Curt to go far this season.
Schilling was followed by Timlin in the 8th and Papelbon in the 9th. Mike got his 2nd Hold and Papelbon got his 2nd Save. He looks really, really, REALLY good coming into the game late.
The two big hits were Youkilis's RBI single and Varitek's RBI double. Tek had a really good game at the plate with a pair of doubles.
Isn't it nice to be able to win 14-8 on one night then win 2-1 on the next night? Versatility! That's what the 2004 team was built on. Win the slugfests AND the pitching duels. That's what we failed to do last season and so far it is what we have succeeded in doing this season.
The Man of the Game is Curt Schilling who pitched 7 innings allowing only one run. He won us the game, basically. An honorable mention goes to Papelbon for his 2nd perfect inning as a closer.