Wednesday, August 16, 2006


That massive rush of air felt around the country at exactly 10:00PM EST was the release of a massive "WHEW" from all corners of RedSoxNation. When Papelbon got new Detroit leadoff man, the artist formerly known as "Pudge" Rodriguez to ground out to Loretta to end Boston's 6-4, sanity-saving victory, there was a palpable feeling of "thank god we took one from them; now bring on the Stanks!"
Like most of their wins these days, this one was anything but easy. David Wells was making his 4th start of his injury-plagued season, and everyone hoped he would pitch like he did in his last outing (7IP, 1ER), rather than his previous 2 (8 1/3IP, 15H, 12R, 4HRs). Truthfully he was somewhere in between. He went 6 2/3 and was touched up for 10 hits but only 4 runs, all earned; but 3 came in one inning on 2 HRs Boomer tried to give the game away, but on this night the Boston bats would bail out the pitching. They rouged up Papelbon's nearest cometition (now that Lirano is out) for Rookie of the Year, touted rookie right Justin Verlander, to the tune of 6 hits & 5 ERs in 6IP, plus one huge homer & 7 walks.

Detroit jumped out to an early lead (again) when Craig Monroe knocked in Omar Infante; but Boston tied it in their half of the 3rd on an RBI groundout by Loretta after Javy & Cora walked.
It stayed 1-1 until the 5th, and that's when the man who is etching his name in the MVP trophy week-by-week, DH or not, Big Papi stepped up with Loretta on first and two out. Here's my question:

WHY ON EARTH DO THESE MANAGERS INSIST ON PITCHING TO THIS GUY IN THESE SITUSTIONS?! Lesser managers would get canned for these decisions. Haven't they caught on yet- this guy is doing something speial right now, comparable to what Bonds was doing between '01-'04, when he drew (ironically) 755 free passes, and Papi's clean. PUT THE GUY ON BASE.

***Sorry, got off on a Papi man-crush/ARod hatred tangent***

Anyway, you can guess what happened next- Papi deposited the ball in the Sox bully for a 2R home run, his ML-leading 42 to go with 113 RBIs, and good vibes were in the Fenway air. But then Wells took the mound in the top of the 6th. A solo blast by Mags Ordonez and a MAMMOTH 2-run bomb that landed on Lansdowne by the immortal Brent Clevlan(his 3rd HR in 17 career ABs) later and Boston was trailing-AGAIN-4-3.
But the Sox were not to be denied tonight, and when the suddenly resurgent Coco Crisp(20-61, .327 last 14 gms) hit a Monster-scraping double to score Lowell & Lopez, no one in the joint even cared that home plate umpire Bruce Froemming, in his 5,00 career game, aptly blew a call by calling Cora out at home. Well, maybe a little. Boston tacked on an insurance run in the 7th, and then Craig Hansen and Palebon shut the door, and all is right with the world.

For one day.

Then the Evil Empire rides into the Hub for a five-game set that has huge implications on the playoff race. 5 games, 4 days (DH Fri), starting at 1:00PM.
Less than 48 hours away.

By the way, did I mention that Judas Demon went 0-5 and made the final out in the Stanks attempted come-from-behind 3-2 loss to the Birds?


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