Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Three solo homers, a Mirabelli RBI single, another GREAT start from Wakefield, and solid bullpen work. That's what I like to see, baby!
That's not entirely true, I like seeing 2 and 3 run homers a bit more, but I'll take the three solo shots. And I'll take some offensive production out of Mirabelli. And I'll take a 1.35 ERA from our 4th starter through three starts.
Lowell, Mirabelli, and Ortiz were the offense for us last night. Drew was the only other Sox player to get a hit.
The real story was Wakefield who went 7 very strong innings, allowing only 1 run off 4 hits and 3 walks. He had a walk-crazy 4th just like Daisuke in the first game of the series, but he pitched around it nicely.
I know the sample is small, but maybe Mirabelli could be looked at as an option to catch on days hat Wakefield isn't pitching. Day game after night game, against pitchers Tek struggles with, that sort of thing. He seems to be hitting well in the few at-bats he's had, and Varitek seems to be struggling just a bit at the plate.
In my incessant Coco Crisp watch, his average dropped to .136 with an 0 for 4 performance. Jason Schmidt hit .136 for the Giants last year. When will he get a day off? Who knows.
Jonathan Papelbon allowed his first hit of the season. I know he hasn't pitched that often, but I love that Papelbon giving up a hit is news.
The Man of the Game is Tim Wakefield who went 7 innings, 1 ER, and so on.
Doug Mirabelli: 2/3, HR, 2 RBI, R
Mike Lowell: 2/4, HR, RBI
David Ortiz: 2/4, HR, RBI
Tavarez against Halladay tomorrow afternoon in the rubber game. The game will also determine which team will be in first place in the division.
Gustavo Chacin has our number, as do the Toronto Blue Jays.
Just a few questions about the lineup. Crisp batting second? When I first saw this, I was confused. He did go 2 for 4, so I guess it worked out, but I still question the logic demonstrated by Francona. I know Youkilis was hitting 5th with Drew out of the lineup against Chacin, but couldn't Lowell or Pena have hit 5th?
Coco raised his average to an impressive .150. That's over the Wakefield Line of .125. However, it's still under the Orlando Hernandez Line of .160.
The shame of this game is that it was a waste of some good pitching performances against a good lineup. Matsuzaka had a shaky 4th when he walked 3 and allowed 2 runs. But this was aided by Lugo's defensive miscue which was scored a hit, should have been an error, and could have been a double play. Okajima struck out the side in his inning of work, Dice-K sent down 10 with the Sanshin, and Pineiro pitched a scoreless 8. But it was all for not.
Ortiz, Manny, and Youkilis went a combined 1 for 12 in the 3-4-5 spots of the lineup. We're not going to score runs with that kind of production from the heart of the order.
The good news was that Matsuzaka did a good job of settling down after a shaky 4th inning. This will be pivotal to him being a successful Major League pitcher, and I think he showed good character.
I think the Angels series might have gotten Sox fans hopes up a bit too much. We were up against a warm weather team playing in wet, 45 degree conditions. The Angels spent the spring in Arizona, then their first week of play in Orange County, CA. But Toronto is a good team, in any weather. Particularly dome weather.
Believe it or not, this is an important series. I think this is our first real test to see how good the team truly is. Toronto is a potential playoff team. Wakefield against our old friend Tomo Ohka tonight, then in the mismatch of the year: Tavarez against Halladay tomorrow. If we don't win tonight, we'll probably get swept.
Man of the Game was Gustavo Chacin. He went 6.2 innings, allowing only 1 run of 6 hits and no walks. He struck out 3.
Daisuke Matsuzaka: 6 IP, 2 ER, 10 K
Hideki Okajima: IP, 3 K
Jason Frasor: 1.1 IP, perfect Save
Matsuzaka: 0.3 - 3 BB, 2 ER
Lugo: 0.5 - 0 for 4, should have gotten an error
Ortiz: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 2 LOB
Youkilis: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 2 K