Battle of the Older Guys – A Win for the Sox
Johnson 44 Y.O. D’backs Pitcher and former Yankee…still throwing some pretty nasty stuff at his age. Wakefield’s knuckleballs proving tricky for DBacks. He’s 41. (see those dancing pitches?) And, now we see Shilling (41 and former co-MVP with Johnson for the DBacks…) after successful surgery still leaving his options open, while acknowledging a comeback at his age is not likely. On his 38 Pitches bloghe wrote a nice post about having no regrets. Good for him. We should all be so lucky. Can’t deny his role in helping the Sox win their World Series Championships.
Tonight’s Game Notes:
Wake – 94 pitches 61 Ks – Eck called it like something from “son of flubber” where the ball won’t contact. 7 IP; 6 Ks…his catcher Cash had a pretty good night, too. (didn’t you wonder why Johnson Intentionally walked Cash? b/c Johnson knew last time he faced Cash, Cash took him deep…)
11 2/3 scoreless innings by Delcarmen who came on to relieve Wakefield (last matchup was in 2005 when Johnson was a Yankee.)
3 run Homer by Cash cements another late inning rally – Moss and Cash (so far Bottom of 8th) responsible for the 5-0 lead we hold
.278 team BA – second in AL and just behind .284 – in NL that’s the Cubs’ team BA…
It’s almost empty tank here for me…but I’ll tell you the other observation from tonight’s game: patience at the plate. Our batting coach has done great things with our guys’ discipline at the plate. I don’t even know what goes into it all but – DOH!! -we were full count 2 outs with a chance to end this. …now, a Walk by Hanson? Paps comes out bases loaded, 2 outs. Holy replay Batman….late inning drama again!
Paps – third in league in saves? 5-0 Win/shutout of DBacks. Phew.
Late Innings Rally Give Sox the Win and a Monster Lesson
For me and Eric Byrnes on playing the balls off the Green Monster. I’m always amazed any batter can hit any of these pitches. To then be able to take defensive swings, or foul-tip the pitch count up; another level of respect. Further, when you see veterans place the ball just where they know it suits the particular game, players, inning, etc…Incredible.
Case in point: Byrnes, by all accounts a good and an experienced player is struggling in that left field pocket. The good hitters are using his inexperience playing the Monster to their advantage. You see the carom bouncing way over head…maybe a good way to load the bases and get into the opponents’ heads.
(btw. how railed out was Lenny Clarke in the booth? I thought he was in rehab? odd that his appearance with equally amped Denis Leary last season was Remy’s favorite moment? And how juiced is Remy’s kid?)
13 Innings and Finally a Win
[ed. note: this post was hiding in my drafts folder…apologies to the three of you who might be reading this…]
For as long as the game went tonight (that would be Monday’s game v. St. Louis!) , you’d have thought it would get boring. But it didn’t really. There was drama of pitcher-batter duels, fielding, substitutions…it was a good chance to see various strategies in action. Plus thrills and spills.
It also was a good chance to see what a cranky MFr LaRussa is. Youkilis thought the crowd was too quite, he attributed it to the fact that they might be hungover from celebrating the Celtics win. Francona compared it to a girls’ softball game (ouch – he has daughters that play!) But, leading double base hits in three extra innings, men on base, often all of them….and it still took 13 innings to get it done.
Maybe, it was just that it took that long for Lowell to hit (his first was the double in the 13th) and someone was looking out for him? Crazy play at the plate? We had it: Varitek’s head over keister roll with the ball in the hands the whole time. Yikes. Papelbon’s fourth blown save. Threat of a sweep. Oh yeah. We had drama.
(I saw a bunch of green hats in the stands, Dave, hang in there buddy, I’ll get the damn photos up…along with the story explaining why no man really wants to be seen wearing a green hat….)