Saturday, May 09, 2009
It's clockwork. Evan Longoria steps to the plate, is able to reach over and drive a ball on the outside half of the plate, and pull it hard. 5 more RBI for the young third baseman. If he wins the MVP, in his acceptance speech, he should thank the Sox for allowing him to own the entire plate. 21 of his League leading 44 RBI have been against the Red Sox.
And Jon Lester needs to be able to beat the Rays. He's 0-2 against them this year, which follows his 0-2 performance in the ALCS. He cannot be an Ace so long as the Rays own him.
Jason Varitek has a .207 career average with the bases loaded. That sucks.
Man of the Game:
Evan Longoria - 2 for 4 with a double (that was a foot from a grand slam), a homer, 5 RBI, and 3 runs scored.
Rubber game is Sunday night at 8 on ESPN, which is the same time as both the Bruins and the Celtics playoff games, so few people in New England will witness Matt Garza's inevitable 20 strikeout performance, and Josh Beckett's 4 innings and 6 earned runs.
AP Photo/Mary Schwalm
When was the last time the Red Sox were the third story in the sporting news around here? 1988?
They did provide the only good news of the night. They finally beat the Rays, for only the second time since Opening Day.
Jason Bay continues to hit the crap out of the ball. He was 2 for 4 with another homerun, his 9th. That's good for 3rd in the AL. Manny Ramirez is still stuck on 7 HRs, and probably will be for awhile. Bay is also 2nd in RBI with 32.
Dustin Pedroia was 4 for 5, and continues his surge from an early slump. His average is up to .336. He's hitting .485 in May. He started the season 7 for 39 (.179). Since April 15th, he's 34 for 83 (.410).
Brad Penny had a solid start, 6.1 innings pitched and only 3 runs allowed on 8 scattered hits. That's what we're going to get from Penny, hopefully on a regular basis.
How nice was it to see Papelbon pitch a clean inning? 3 up, 3 down. Pair of strikeouts, 11 total pitches, 9 strikes. Lovely.
It's just nice beating Tampa. They're not that good. They're nowhere near likable. They're a bunch of cocky little punks, and we let them take control of the American League last year. Hopefully we can remind them that they are, in fact, a 14-17 team.
Scott Kazmir vs. Jon Lester at 3:40 on Fox. I'm probably not going to watch until the 6th inning. Wink.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
In Game 1, an understandable fatigue was apparently responsible for the Celtics' lackadaisical play. In Game 2, they woke up and cruised to victory. In Game 3, it was once again nap time. In this case, however, there is no excuse.
The Magic shot 59.1% from the field. More disturbingly, they were allowed easy layups and dunks, especially in the 1st quarter.
Ray Allen once again had a subpar night, 3 for 13 shooting, 0 for 5 in three pointers, and only 8 points. Glen Davis also struggled, only 7 points and 3 rebounds.
But the C's put up 96 points. That should be enough to win. The C's held opponents to fewer than 96 points 18 times in last year's playoffs. I know without Garnett, such a feet is impossible to duplicate. However, one man doesn't make a good defense, it takes 5 men working together. The Celtics simply didn't do it last night.
Game 4 is Sunday night. It's not a must-win, but not winning will put the Celtics in a deep hole.
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack