Saturday, May 10, 2008
This is becoming an unnerving tendency of the Celtics. Then again, perhaps the 108-84 loss in game 3 is just an aberration, made to seem worse by the 3 road losses in the Atlanta series. After all, the C's were 35-10 on the road during the regular season, so it isn't as if this is a team that got here by only winning at home.
Unlike the losses in Atlanta, the Celtics didn't lose simply on defense. Offensively, they were off. KG had 17, but Ray Allen only had 10. Allen was 4 of 12 from the field and 0 for 5 from behind the arc. Sam Cassell only contributed 1 point off the bench. Rajon Rondo had a dismal night, shooting 3 of 10, with no assists.
Meanwhile, the hawks, I mean Cavs, were shooting lights out on offense. As a team, they were 53.6& from the field, and 10 of 19 from beyond the arc. Cleveland also out-rebounded (37 to 33), out-stole (6 to 5), and out-blocked (7 to 3) the Celtics. LeBron didn't shoot that well, but had 21 points.
The most disgusting moment of the night was when the announcers commented on how LeBron's "athleticism" allowed him to drive to the hole and draw fouls, whereas other players would simply get knocked down and turn the ball over with no whistle. Right, that's how LeBron draws so many fouls. It's some rare form of athleticism. And nothing more.
Game 4 is Monday night, and I have a feeling the Celtics will win in a close contest. And finally, all the haters will be silenced.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
5-2 is my favorite score in baseball to win by. 5-2 wins mean that everything was good. The starting pitching was solid, the bullpen was great, and the hitting was timely.
Daisuke was solid for his 6th win, and once again I felt like the Red Sox could have sent him out for another inning. He only threw 96 pitches through 7, which is nothing for him. And he had gotten 8 outs in a row. Why not save Okajima, especially after he went 2 innings Friday night. Now for Sunday's game, the Red Sox might not have Hideki or Papelbon available to work.
The Sox scored 4 of their 5 runs with homers, all of which were solo shots. Kevin Youkilis hit his 8th. Coco Crisp and Jed Lowrie were part of a very unlikely back-to-back tandem in the 7th. It was Lowrie's first career homer. Mike Lowell continued to hit well, going 2 for 4 with a solo HR in the 7th.
Julio Lugo was scratched from the lineup due to wooziness/dizziness before the game. His replacement - Lowrie - went 3 for 4 with that homerun and a double. He did not commit an error.
Manny's struggles at the plate continued, as he went 0 for 5. His average has dropped nearly 70 points in the last 2 weeks.
Tim Wakefield and Nick Blackburn face off in the rubber game Sunday night. The Sox are even less familiar with Blackburn than they were with Perkins, with only 6 total at-bats against him.
AP Photo/Jim Mone
Last night's 7-6 loss to Minnesota was a hard one to swallow, but let's not line up on the Zakim Bridge because Papelbon has blown two saves in a row. The bottom of the 9th was a very strange inning. A leadoff single up the middle, a sacrifice bunt, then Young steals third base, which wound up being the difference in the game. Gomez walks, then steals second. Had Young not taken third beforehand, surely the twins wouldn't have put on a double steal with 2 outs, and the go ahead run wouldn't have gotten into scoring position. But it did, and Lamb hit a bloop single which knocked in both Young and the speedy Gomez.
It wasn't as if Papelbon got knocked around, or had trouble throwing strikes. Give credit to the Twins for playing good aggressive small ball. Most of the time, the Red Sox will win this kind of game. But Friday night was Minnesota's.
Julio Lugo once again hurt the club with his glove, committing his 11th error of the season. It was a simple error doing something that Major League short-stops should be able to do in their sleep. And it allowed 2 unearned runs to score.
It's time to send Jed Lowrie back to AAA Pawtucket. He needs to get his regular at-bats down in the minors so he can replace Lugo in '09, or perhaps sooner. Right now, he's not ready to be a full-time short-stop. But with a few hundred more AAA at-bats, he will be.
Daisuke goes against Glen Perkins, who is making his first career start.
AP Photo/Paul Battaglia