Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Bad news for the AL East. Bad news for the AL. Bad news for everyone outside of Boston really. Josh Beckett is on his game. 7 innings, 10 strikeouts, 2 hits. The 3 walks were unfortunate, but he pitched around them brilliantly.
The only not-so-bright spot for the Sox this afternoon was the disappointing Hideki Okajimna outing. HBP, walk, strikeout, pulled. After a double steal and a single, Hideki's charged with 2 earned runs (inherited runner karma catching up to him?), and a 5-1 cruise control goes to a 5-3 nail-biter.
Well, it was a nail-biter in the 8th, but Masterson got out of it. Then was there any doubt with Papelbon in the 9th? 15 pitches, 2 strikeouts, game over.
Pedroia started where he left off. It amazes me how many people outside of Boston consider his 2008 season to be a fluke. He's been hitting and hitting well for 1.9 seasons now. Youkilis also looked good, going 2 for 4 with a double and a run.
Varitek's homerun was bigger than just the run. After wearing down Shields, the Sox failed to deliver the knockout punch until Tek hit that shot to right. It's good to get him going on the right foot, and even though I doubt he'll hit many more of them, this particular homer was pivotal.
I was wrong up above, there was another not-so-bright spot apart from Okajima. Jacoby Ellsbury does not belong in the leadoff spot. He was 0 for 4. His speed is irrelevant if he doesn't get on base. I'd prefer to see him hitting 8th or 9th, instead of giving Pedroia 0 on and 1 out all the time.
I'm brining back the Man of the Game (MOTG) this season after a 1 year hiatus from the site. I'm also bringing back the Bitch-Goat (BG) when the Sox lose, but that's for another day and not today.
This afternoon's Man of the Game:
Josh Beckett. 7 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 10 strikeouts, win #49 for Beckett in a Red Sox uniform.
Scott Kazmir faces Jon Lester Wednesday night.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
AP Photo/Elise Amendola