Sunday, May 27, 2007
The reason I think this team is good, is because of game's like this one. Up 3-0, then down 4-3 with your bullpen in the game, up against Otsuka and Gagne, with Papelbon unavailable, and you still manage to win. These are the really tough ones to get, and come the end of September, these are the wins that make a difference in the standings.
Kevin Youkilis had his 7th straight multiple hit game. He has 23 such games this season to lead the world.
Tavarez was nearly perfect after 5 innings but disintegrated in the 6th. This has been Julian's MO the entire season. He is great the first time through the opposing lineup, then decent the second time through, then horrible the third time through. I think he will be very good for us in the bullpen. Lester had a strong outing in AAA Pawtucket the other day, and although there is no hurry, I'm very much looking forward to Tavarez only going through opponents lineups one time.
I know Okajima's save wasn't perfect, but isn't it nice having a guy like him on the team? He can pitch a large number of games, he can come in to get a tough lefty, he can go 2 innings, he can go the 8th inning, and he can get tough saves. It's nice that we don't have to force Papelbon into working three days in a row.
Dustin Pedroia has very quietly gotten his average up to .279. He's hitting .375 in May with a .426 OBP. He's become a threat at the bottom of the lineup, extending innings, putting runners on for Lugo and Youkilis, and making the lineup even more difficult for opposing pitchers to navigate. The at-bat he had against Gagne was great. Twelve pitches, then he finally got one he could crushed and he slammed it out of the yard for what turned out to be a vital insurance run. He's got a .980 OPS this month.
And did you see that catch Coco made?
And how about Pineiro with 1.2 perfect innings of relief, leaving 2 inherited runners on. It just seems like we get contributions from anyone and everyone some days.
The Man of the Game is Mark Teixiera. He went 2 for 4 with a 3 run homer and an RBI single.
Dustin Pedroia: 2/4, HR
Coco Crisp: 2/5, game saving catch
Joel Pineiro: 1.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K
Big series with a very good Cleveland team coming up.
"Wait til Manny starts hitting." This has been the refrain of Sox fans for nearly two months. The best team in baseball could only get better once their highest paid and most productive player got going. And it seems like maybe he has. Manny followed up Friday's 2 hit performance with a 4 hit exhibition, falling a homerun shy of hitting for the cycle.
The Sox actually gave Wakefield some run support. After falling behind 4-2, they were able to muster up some offense. The Sox actually left a good deal of runners in scoring position, and failed to get the really big hit, but the 5 run 6th was enough to deliver a victory.
Inning summary of the 6th:
Kevin Youkilis singles
David Ortiz flies out, 1 out
Manny Ramirez triples, Youkilis scores
Wild Pitch, Ramirez scores
JD Drew walks
Mike Lowell singles, Drew to 2nd
Coco Crisp singles, Drew scores, Lowell to 3rd, Crisp to 3rd on throw
Doug Mirabelli walks
Alex Cora Sac-Fly, Lowell scores, Crisp to 3rd, 2 outs
Julio Lugo walks, Mirabelli to 2nd
Kevin Youkilis walks (after falling behind 0-2), Crisp scores, Mirabelli to 3rd, Lugo to 2nd
David Ortiz grounds out, 3 outs
FIVE RUNS, FOUR HITS, NO ERRORS, THREE LEFT ON BASE
So only one hit with runners in scoring position in that inning, but 5 runs. One on a triple, one on a wild pitch, one on a single, one on a sac-fly, one on a walk.
The Man of the Game is Manny Ramirez, who went 4 for 4 with a double, triple, run, RBI, and a walk. Is he going to heat up? Let's hope so.
Kevin Youkilis: 2/4, 2B, 2 runs, RBI, BB (18 game hit-streak)
Tim Wakefield: 7 IP, 4 ER
Tavarez vs. Kameron Loe tomorrow for the sweep.
New York lost, Toronto and Baltimore won, so the Sox have an 11 game lead on the Jays. New York is tied for 3rd with Baltimore.
With the win, the Sox are assured to win the series. They have played 17 series this season (plus one lone makeup game with Seattle), and have won 12 of them. They've only lost 3 series so far.