Thursday, September 04, 2008
I've said it before, I'll say it again, "luck" is the most overused word in sports. It should almost never appear in a game summary. But yesterday afternoon, the Sox were helped by a bit of luck. More accurately, they were helped by a bit of rock.
Daisuke had a typical Daisuke start. He had thrown 100 pitches after 5 innings, only went 6, allowed 4 runs (3 earned, which is a high amount for him), walked 4, allowed 4 hits, and the Sox bailed him out of a loss. His 16-2 record this year is thanks in large to the offense supporting him, and the bullpen now blowing his leads.
Baltimore's Lance Cormier and Dennis Safarte combined for 6 innings to start the game. And they shut the Sox down. Cormier allowed 2 hits and no walks in his 3 innings. Safarte only allowed 1 hit and struck out 5.
Pedroia put the Sox on the board in the 7th with a solo shot. He was 3 for 4, raising his average to .333.
Kotsay hit a big two run triple in the 8th to tie the game at 4-4. He was eventually stranded as Jasons Bay and Varitek struck out.
The bottom of the 9th was bizarre. Cora led off with a single through the hole into right field. Crisp bunted down the 1st base line. The ball was spinning foul, then it hit a small rock or pebble or divot or something, change direction, and wound up fair. Not only that, the confusion allowed Crisp to reach. Then Ellsbury came up to bunt. It was one of the worst bunts I've seen this season, up the 3rd base line, hit hard enough so the pitcher had a play at 3rd. Jim Miller grabbed it, threw to 3rd, but the throw was way off, sailing into left field. Cora scampered home for a 5-4 win.
I wouldn't say the Sox were "lucky" in this game. But they were fortunate. And at the same time, they had put themselves in the position to be helped by good fortune.
This was the 5th series in a row that the Red Sox have won. But it was also their first sweep in that stretch.
The Sox are 21-9 (.700) since the beginning of August AND since the Ramirez trade. That includes a 10-5 record on the road.
The White Sox beat the Indians 4-2. Toronto beat the Twins 5-4. The Yankees beat the Rays 8-4. That means the Sox are 3 games out of the division, and lead the Twins by 5 games in the Wild Card.
The Sox have a 3 game trip to Texas this weekend. Mike Lowell might play Friday night, as might Kevin Youkilis. Josh Beckett is the probable starter, his opponent is Kevin Millwood.
AP Photo/Steven Senne