Thursday, May 22, 2008
GRAND DAY AT FENWAY
Aided by a pair of Grand Slams, the Red Sox completed their 4 game sweep of the Royals, and 7-0 homestand Thursday afternoon. JD Drew hit the first Grand Slam in the 2nd, putting the Sox ahead 4-1. Mike Lowell capped a 6 run 6th with his, giving his team an 11-3 lead.
But it was an ugly win, as the 11-8 score suggests. Matszuaka only went 5.2 innings, allowing 6 hits and 6 walks. His 118 pitches translates into 21 pitches per inning, which has been a major problem for him this year.
The bullpen made things entirely too interesting. Hansen gave up 2 runs in the 7th, boosting his already obese ERA to 7.56. Aardsma had his first major struggles in awhile, giving up 3 in the 8th. All of this caused the Red Sox to use Papelbon to get the last 3 outs.
Maybe I'm just being paranoid, or maybe it's just the Red Sox pessimism that still festers in my heart, but with all the use Papelbon is getting, I can see a repeat of 2006 in September. And no Papelbon means no World Series, folks.
But as I've said a few dozen times already this year, a win is a win. The Sox have the best record in baseball, and are 21-5 in Fenway. But now they have to go on the road. Far on the road. The Sox take on the A's Friday night. Tim Wakefield goes against Rich Harden.
AP Photo/Steven Senne