Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Could this be the start of something big. Tim Wakefield returns to the rotation with 7 quality innings of 1 run ball. Victor Martinez can catch the knuckleball (unlike certain Captains). And David Ortiz is hitting big-time clutch homeruns again.
Wakefield got a no-decision, but he registered his 12th Quality Start of the season, allowing 6 hits and only 1 walk over his 7 innings. He threw 94 pitches, and 73 of those were strikes. That's a strike-to-ball ratio of 3.5:1. That's excellent for any pitcher, let alone a knuckleballer. Of the 27 batters Wakefield faced, he started 20 of them with 1st pitch strikes.
In May, who would have thought David Ortiz would be at homerun #22? This was his first multi-homerun game of the season, and his first since September 17, 2008. Much like Wakefield makes the rotation fearsome, a power-hitting David Ortiz makes the lineup a force to be reckoned with.
The Red Sox are now 19-6 against the Central Division.
The Yankees beat the Rangers, giving the Sox a 2.5 (2 in the loss column) game edge in the Wild Card.
Junichi Tazawa takes the hill Thursday night as the Red Sox go for the sweep. But he's up against John Danks, who is 11-8 with a 3.85 ERA. We've seen that the White Sox have a very good rotation. If they had some hitting, and a good bullpen, they'd be sick. Too bad.
AP Photo/Elise Amendola
It wasn't easy. It wasn't pretty. But it wasn't quite as ugly as Monday night's win.
And I think all the Varitek lovers out there have to admit that Victor Martinez is a serious hitter. The lineup improves so much when he's in there. He hits the ball solidly, and hits it where it's pitched. His RBI single in the 7th was a good example of taking what a pitcher gives you. He didn't do too much with it, just hit it on a rope over the short-stop and into left field.
Jon Lester isn't an Ace. He's close. He's very close. On most teams, he'd be the #1 pitcher, and he might even be the Sox best starter. But Aces get deeper into games. 6.2 innings and 3 earned runs is technically a Quality Start, but just barely.
Lester has a tendency to throw a lot of pitches early on. And his stuff deteriorates very quickly after pitch #105.
Jonathan Papelbon recorded his 30th Save of the season, becoming only the second man in MLB history to record 30+ Saves in each of his first 4 seasons. The other guy to do that was Billy "100 MPH straight fastball" Koch.
And of course, Jacoby Ellsbury set a new Red Sox record with 55 stolen bases. What's really amazing is that he's only been caught 9 times. So 85.9% of the time, he gets the base, and only 14.1% of the time he gets the out. That's a crucial part of base-stealing. In his career, he's stolen 114 bases, and only been caught 20 times (85.1%).
Tim Wakefield makes his much anticipated return tonight. He faces Gavin Floyd, who has a solid 3.98 ERA and 10-8 record.
AP Photo/Elise Amendola