Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Schilling allowed 5 runs, 3 homers, and 9 hits in 5 and 2/3 innings. Yet for some reason he was irritated when Francona removed him from the game. The Sox offense bailed him out, allowing him to get win #6 of the season.
The Sox hitters combined for 6 runs, each RBI coming from a different player. Ramirez had his 7th homer, Nixon had his 3rd, both were in the 2nd inning off former Sox pitcher Bruce Chen. Mike Lowell added his 20th double, Youkilis got on base 3 times in 6 appearances, Loretta upped his average to .288 with a 3 for 5 night, and Ortiz showed some signs of breaking out of his slump with a 2 for 5 effort. Varitek and Gonzalez were the only starters held hitless.
The bullpen was magnificent once again. Mike Holtz got out of Schilling's 6th inning jam. Timlin pitched 2 perfect innings to get his 10th Hold of the season. Timlin is 2nd in the league in Holds. Papelbon pitched a perfect 9th for his 14th Save of the season. Papelbon leads all of baseball in Saves.
The Man of the Game is Mike Timlin. He pitched 2 huge perfect innings in a 1 run game. Middle relievers don't get a whole lot of respect, but Timlin has been one of the best in baseball this season. He deserves a MOTG.
Wakefield against Bedard tomorrow as the Sox look for the sweep.
The Sox put up 13 hits, two doubles, a triple, and three homers in an offensive onslaught against the Orioles. On the other hand, Beckett and the Sox held Baltimore to 1 run, a solo homer by Miguel Tejada in the 1st.
Pena hit his 4th homerun as part of a 2 for 5, 4 RBI night. His average is .321, which is pretty good for a guy that batted 8th last night.
Mike Lowell had a 2 for 4 night with a 2 run triple in the 5th that chased Rodrigo Lopez out of the game, and his 4th homer of the year hit in the 9th. Lowell is 2nd in MLB and 1st in the AL with 24 extra basehits.
Varitek went 2 for 2 with an RBI single, a 2 run homer, 3 walks, 3 RBI, and 4 runs. Hopefully Varitek is breaking out of his slump. He's batting .226 in May, but his 2 for 2 yesterday and his 1 for 2 on Friday might signify an end to his slumping. We need his bat to be working in the lineup.
The story of the game was Josh Beckett, in more ways than one. After allowing the 1st inning homer, he allowed only one other hit, and no walks. Through 7 innings, he had only thrown 80 pitches and was cruising. Then he was pulled.
The question is, why?
According to the Red Sox, his back was uncomfortable and the Sox felt comfortable putting the bullpen in for two innings with a 7 run lead. However, NESN cameras recorded Beckett and the Red Sox coaches looking at his finger. The same finger that has had blister troubles in the past that has landed Beckett on the DL.
Francona's explanation is that there was mud and dirt caked on the finger from Beckett removing it from his spikes. That story doesn't fly. I think it is clear the Sox were worried about Beckett's finger. Why else would they pull him after only 80 pitches?
We'll have to wait until Beckett's next start to see what the real story is.
Beckett was the Man of the Game with 7 innings, 2 hits allowed, no walks, 6 strikeouts, and a sole earned run.