Sunday, May 04, 2008
I don't think I was the only person to get annoyed by the Hawks during this series. Horford really came off as an impudent prick. Mike Bibby's comments were not only uncalled for, but were silly considering the city in which he plays is known for having some of the most fair-weather fans in the country. And then there was Atlanta's PA announcer leading all the chants and cheering. To me, that was the most annoying aspect of this series. And thank God it's over.
The Celtics' annihilation of the Hawks in game 7 makes it hard to believe that the series even got to a 7th game. Pierce had 22 points and 8 rebounds. Garnett had 18 points and 11 boards. Perkins registered a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Powe came off the bench with 12 points.
Defensively, the Celtics played an even more phenomenal game. They had a total of 11 steals and 10 blocks. The Hawks were held to an abysmal 24 for 82 (29.3%) from the field. And best of all, Mike Bibby was held to 2 points. Two points! HAHAHAHA
Now the Celtics have to play the 4th seeded Cleveland Cavaliers. The C's better be able to step it up on the road, because Cleveland is a real team and is very capable of winning games in Boston. The C's and Cavs played 4 games this season, splitting 2-2. Neither team was able to win on the road in the season series.
Here is the schedule for the series with Cleveland:
Game 1: Tuesday 5/6 - 8:00PM - vs. Cleveland
Game 2: Thursday 5/8 - 7:00 PM - vs. Cleveland
Game 3: Saturday 5/10 - 8:00 PM - @ Cleveland
Game 4: Monday 5/12 - 8:00 PM - @ Cleveland
Game 5: Wednesday 5/14 - TBA - vs. Cleveland
Game 6: Friday 5/16 - TBA - @ Cleveland
Game 7: Sunday 5/18 - TBA - vs. Cleveland
AP Photo/Winslow Townson
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images
The Red Sox got out to an early lead against Scott Kazmir Sunday afternoon, and although the game was made close in the late innings, were able to pull away at the end for a 7-3 victory.
Lester had a typical Jon Lester start, 112 pitches in 6 innings. Although he pitched well and allowed only one run, he put the Sox in an awkward position. Manny Delcarmen had to be brought in to pitch the 7th.
Delcarmen was one of the X factors of this team coming into the season. If he did well, then Papelbon and Okajima would have some support in the bullpen. The dynamic duo could take more days off, and there'd be someone reliable to pitch the 7th inning when the starter could only get through 6.
But things haven't worked out that way. After another struggle on Sunday, Delcarmen's ERA is up to 7.30. ERA is not a good way to gauge a reliever, but every other Delcarmen stat is as bad or worse. His WHIP is 1.70. He's throwing 20.1 pitches per inning. Opponents are hitting .333 off him. He's inherited 12 runners, and 7 of them have scored.
Although the Sox still managed to win Sunday (thanks in large part to Okajima, Papelbon, and Youkilis), this trend with Delcarmen simply cannot continue. Last year, we saw how effective the Sox were at conserving Papelbon so he could last the whole season. We also saw Okajima wear out toward the end of the year.
In 2008, Papelbon has already had 4 outings longer than an inning. In 2007, he had a TOTAL of 4 appearances that were longer than an inning. Papelbon has 14 appearances and 15.1 innings so far. By May 4 in 2007, he only had 11 appearances and 11.1 innings. This may sound like a small difference, but if it continues throughout the year, it will take its toll. And the Sox won't have Papelbon available to pitch 2 tough innings in the World Series, if need be.
The Red Sox now head to Detroit for 4 games. Daisuke goes against Bonderman in the series opener Monday night.
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer