Monday, April 09, 2007
David Ortiz: 2/4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 runs
Curt Schilling: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Jonathan Pepelbon: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 15 pitches, 12 strikes, 5 outs
7 innings of brilliance from Schilling + a pair of homeruns from Ortiz + AN AMAZING SAVE FROM PAPELBON = 3-2 win in Texas
This was a great game for the Sox to win. It was a very close contest, too close, as a matter of fact. Ortiz provided the offense with the homers. Manny had about 1,200 feet worth of outs and in warmer weather, he probably would have had 2 homers, as well. But apart from David, we didn't have much of an offensive assault. We went 6 for 30 as a team, and Ortiz's homers were our only extra basehits.
Alex Cora had a particularly poor night. He went 0 for 2 with a pair of strikeouts, a botched bunt, and he wasn't able to cover first base fast enough on Lofton's bunt single.
Joel Pineiro will be fortunate to be on the 25 man roster by the end of April. He goes in the 8th inning against the bottom of the order and throws ball after ball after ball. He threw 14 pitches, 8 were balls.
Schilling was very good. He allowed the solo homer, but that was about it. His curveball looked a bit better than last time, although he rarely used it. Curt had the splitter working and was getting calls on the outside of the plate, and utilized that to full advantage. Very nice rebound start for Curt.
Jonathan Papelbon was absolutely amazing last night. Not much more you can say about his 5 out Save. It may have been the hardest save of his career. 1 run lead, 1 out in the 8th, runners on 1st and 3rd, Mike Young at the plate. All he has to do is hit it to the outfield and the game is tied. And Papelbon strikes him out. Then he gets Teixiera to pop out. Then in the 9th he looked dominant. Gets Sammy Sosa to pop out on 2 pitches, gets Blalock swinging, and Wilkerson looking.
It was a great save for Papelbon, but the bullpen still worries me. In the 8th, we really had no option but Pineiro, or Donnelley. Romero looked dreadful in his last start, you don't want to use Lopez or Okajima against righties, and so on. Even when Timlin gets activated, he probably won't be the Mike Timlin of 2004, and he definitely won't be able to give us an inning every other day. The set-up situation in the bullpen is looking very bleak. We got away with it last night, but down the road we might not be able to.
The Man of the Game is Papelbon. He was perfect when anything less than perfect would have resulted in a blown save. That's a closer right there.
Honorable Mentions go to Ortiz, and Schilling.
Fenway Opening Day on Tuesday.