Sunday, August 31, 2008
If you had told me at the beginning of the season that Jed Lowrie would be batting 2nd, Pedroia batting 4th, Lowell would be injured, Beckett injured, Drew injured, Jeff Bailey at first, a new right fielder, new left fielder. and Michael Bowden starting a game on August 30th; I would have told you that the Sox must be 6 or 7 games out of the wild card.
Instead they're 3.5 games ahead (4 games in the loss column) of the Twins, and 7 games ahead of New York.
Pedroia was outstanding at cleanup. 4 for 4 with a double, a walk, and 2 runs. Mark Kotsay was even more impressive, going 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI. Jason Bay and Jed Lowrie each knocked in a pair. Jeff bailey hit his 2nd career homerun.
Michael Bowden was the 7th Red Sock to make his Major League debut in '08. He's also the 11th different starting pitcher the Sox have used. And for a guy who only has 2 starts in AAA, he did pretty well. He went 5, allowing 2 runs off 7 hits and 1 walk.
Let's not go crazy and think that Bowden belongs in this rotation full time. He's 21 years old. He just got to AAA. The most he could give the Sox right now would be 5 innings of average to below average quality. He's not a long-term solution to any of the Sox rotation problems.
But if the Sox need another spot start, he'll get the call.
The Red Sox go for the sweep this afternoon as Tim Wakefield faces 14-6 Gavin Floyd. Floyd also has a 3.70 ERA, so he's not messing around.
The Baseball Cube
AP Photo/Winslow Townson
Boston College opened their season with a cupcake game on the road. The Golden Flashes of Kent State finished 2007 with seven straight losses. Even with all the talent BC lost from last season, they were more than a match for the Flashes.
The Eagles took a 14-0 lead late in the 1st quarter. In what will be quite different from last year's team, the rushing game led the offense. Five different players combined for 47 carries and 230 yards. Quarterback Chris Cane only threw the ball 18 times, and averaged more yards per carry (6.7) than yards per pass attempt (5.9). Crane also ran for two scores, but didn't throw for one.
BC used junior Jeff Smith, freshman Josh Haden, and sophomore James McCluskey for a bulk of their carries. Smith had 74 yards on 11 carries and a 42 yard TD, Haden had 66 on 15, McCluskey had 36 on 8.
BC was part of a wider trend in the ACC. The ACC teams who faced very weak opposition, cruised to victory. Every ACC team that faced a team with any quality whatsoever, lost.
On Thursday, South Carolina pummeled Tom O'Brien and NC State. Saturday, #17 Virginia Tech fell 27-22 to East Carolina in Charlotte. Ironically, the Hokies were beaten by a blocked punt returned for a score with 1:52 left in the game.
#2 Southern Cal obliterated Virginia 52-7. Few expected the Cavliers would win, but I think most people expected them to put up more of a fight. It wouldv'e been nice if UVA had wiped the grin of this schmuck's face...
#9 Clemson was dominated by #24 Alabama 34-10 in the Georgia Dome. The Tigers wound up with 0 rushing yards (remember, in college ball, sacks count as rushes), and possessed the ball for 18:47. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide put up 419 yards of offense, including 239 on the ground.
Boston College hosts Georgia Tech next Saturday.
AP Photo/Mark Duncan
AP Photo/Don Petersen
AP Photo/Dave Martin