Saturday, May 31, 2008


In the spring of 1987, Rajon Rondo had just turned 1 year old, and the Boston Celtics were in the NBA Finals. Now, 21 years later, Rondo and his teammates are going back to The Promised Land.

What's ironic about the Celtics 6 game triumph over Detroit in the Conference Finals is that they clinched on the road, where they had yet to win a playoff game before this series. The so-called experts predicted that the Celtics would struggle mightily in Auburn Hills. After all, if they couldn't win in Atlanta or Cleveland, how on Earth could they win in one of the toughest arenas for a visiting team to play in?

Here's how...

Paul Pierce once again came up huge. He had 27 points, and 8 rebounds. He led the team in both categories. Kevin Garnett started slow, with only 4 points in the 1st half. But he was clutch down the stretch, going 5 for his last 6, and winding up with 16 points. Ray Allen cooled off a bit toward the end, but still had 17 points. Rondo finished with 11. James Posey had a great night off the bench, with 4 big rebounds, a huge 3 pointer, and a pair of steals.

But the Celtics won with defense. They held Detroit to 13 points in the 4th quarter. 13 points! KG kept Rasheed in check, holding him to 4 points and 2 of 12 shooting. The Pistons shot 42.0%, and if it weren't for the obscene amount of foul shots they had early on, the game wouldn't have been as close.

And now, it's a date with the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. How fitting.

BEAT L.A.!!!!!!


Photo Credits:
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
AP Photo/Paul Sancya


The MRI on Daisuke Matsuzaka's right shoulder showed a mild strain, which convinced the Red Sox to place him on the 15 Day disabled list. The move is more out of caution than anything else. The Red Sox will need Daisuke to be at his best in September, and hopefully October.

He'll most likely be replaced by Justin Masterson in the rotation. They've already shifted things around in AAA Pawtucket to put Masterson in line to pitch on Matsuzaka's scheduled day (Tuesday).

Speaking of cautionary placement on the DL, Clay Buchholz made another rehab start. Pitching for AAA Pawtucket, he went 4 innings, allowed 3 runs, 4 walks, and 5 strikeouts. He threw 76 pitches, only 41 were strikes. He also threw a wild pitch. With Colon up, and Masterson replacing Matsuzaka, the Red Sox will take their time with Buchholz. He might even be optioned back to AAA Pawtucket.

AP via
Providence Journal


The Sox game last night started about 90 minutes before the Celtics' game began. And it ended about an hour after. But after 4 hours and 49 minutes of baseball, the Red Sox were on top 5-2.

Beckett pitched decently, going 6 innings, allowing 2 earned, and striking out 10. But I'm still waiting for him to look like the Ace he was in '07. Beckett allowed a solo homer in the 4th, the 11th he's given up on the season. That's the 2nd most allowed in the AL. Only Paul Byrd has allowed more.

But the bullpen was sensational. Okajima, Delcarmen, Lopez, Hansen, Timlin, and Papelbon combined for 7 innings, 4 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts and 0 runs. Although Timlin did struggle to get out of his inning, leaving the bases loaded.

The offense wasn't much to be proud of. In total, the Sox went 10 for 48 (.208). Jacoby had a great night, going 3 for 7 with a pair of doubles and 3 stolen bases. Mike Lowell also had a solid evening, going 3 for 5 with a double and 2 RBI. One of those RBI turned out to be the game winning run in the 13th.

But apart from a few nice individual performances, the Sox lineup simply looked bad last night. The 7-8-9 hitters combined went 0 for 12 (0 for 13 if you count Jeff bailey's pinch hitting for Alex Cora). Potential All-Star Jason Varitek's average is now .259.

But after what's been happening the last week, I'm more than happy to accept this weak hitting, exhaustive win.

Jon Lester faces Garrett Olson tonight.


Photo Credits:
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
AP Photo/Gail Burton