Friday, July 04, 2008


The Sox put up 12 hits in their 6-4 victory over the Yankees this afternoon. Josh Beckett was shaky in the 1st, but settled down and pitched 6 solid innings, earning his 8th win of the season. Pedroia and Ellsbury combined to go 5 for 9. Mike Lowell was 2 for 4 with a double, a homer, and 4 RBI. Jason Varitek went 2 for 4, his first multiple hit game since May 31st. The Sox could have easily scored more, but they left 4 men in scoring position, and were caught stealing 3 times.

Youkilis also could have had a homerun if there were a slight breeze going out to left. He hit a ball deep to the warning track. Johnny Damon leaped, and tipped the ball with the edge of his glove. The ball literally sat on top of the wall before falling back into play, and Youk was held to a triple.

The one disconcerting aspect of the game was Hideki Okajima's performance in the 7th. He allowed a single and two walks to load the bases. He and Manny Delcarmen worked out of the jam, but Okajima has proven himself to be less than reliable this season. That's probably why he's been used as more of a middle reliever than an 8th inning set-up man.

His ERA is a seemingly solid 3.00, but his other stats tell a completely different story. His 1.47 WHIP is considerably higher than his 0.97 WHIP of 2007. He's blown 6 save opportunities. And inherited runners have been a major problem (12 of 15 have scored).

I think it's safe to say the Red Sox will be in the market for a set-up man at the trade deadline. Hopefully not a French Canadian ex-closer.

Justin Masterson makes his first career start against the Yankees Saturday afternoon. He faces 10-6 Mike Mussina, who will be making his 55th career start against the Red Sox.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

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