Thursday, May 22, 2008
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
Bartolo Colon made his Sox debut last night, going 5 innings and only allowing 2 earned runs. He scattered 6 hits and 2 walks. Now begins the waiting game. How will he recover from his start?
But for now, the news out of The Fens is good. The Red Sox seemed to have grabbed another decent starter in Colon. But 5 innings and 2 runs is not much to write home about. If not for a 4 run 5th for the Sox, we might not be so optimistic about Colon.
Manny's struggles continue with an 0 for 3 night. He's now hitting .287. He was hitting .370 on April 25th, and he hasn't hit a homerun since May 12th. Hopefully this is just a slump, but every day it continues, the more and more it worries me.
Daisuke looks for win #8, and the 4 game sweep Thursday afternoon. He faces Brian Bannister, who sounds like he's some lawyer in a 1940s crime drama.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa