Friday, August 25, 2006

Good news/bad news: Sox win; Manny, Papi, Beckett ailing

Sox win 2nd in a row in Anaheim, 2-1
A lot of positive things came out of last night's thrilling 2-1 victory over the suddenly reeling Los Angeles Angels of Southern California by Way of Anaheim Angels, or whatever they call themselves (I still prefer 'Halos').

  1. 1.Josh Beckett earned his first win since July 24th with a solid effort: 6IP, 4H, 1ER, 2BB, 3Ks, and once again, NO HOME RUNS (he's only allowed 1 in his last 4 starts). But he did have to leave in the 7th with a cut on the middle finger of his pitching hand.

2. Big Papi hit his ML-leading 46th HR, a titanic solo shot off rookie phenom Jered Weaver that gave the Sox a 1-0 lead in the 4th. Of Papi's 46 hrs, 26 have EITHER TIED THE GAME OR PUT THE SOX AHEAD. How do you say 'clutch' in the Dominican?

3. Speaking of the rookie Weaver, Boston hung the first loss on the kid as he was bidding to become the first rookie pitcher EVER to start his career 10-0. Sorry, buddy, but the Sox still have some pride left, and they weren't about to let a mop-topped rookie set any all-time record against them. Especially Jeff Weaver's brother.

A few other key things contributed to the win that can give members of The Nation reason to believe that the team is playing more like the early-July Sox than the Entire August Sox:

*Old friend Orlando Cabrera elected to make the play himself at second base on a DP grounder by 'Belli, only Alex Cora hustled all the way and beat OC to the bag as Lowell scored the eventual winning-run. Next time, flip to your 2B, O-Dog.

*Subbing in LF for the still hurtin' ManRam, Willy Mo gunned down the potential potential tying run after Howie Kendrick's single had already knocked in LA's first run in the 7th. HUGE play, and it loomed even larger because Timlin had just relieved Beckett, and Mr. Let Inherited Runners Score could have easily blown the game. Timlin went on to retire the next 2 batters to escape with the 1-run lead.

* Paplebon appears to be out of his funk, getting 4 outs including fanning the final 2 Angels to secure his 34th save.

So the team recorded another BIG win (as I've said, they're all big from here on out) but they cannot afford to feel too comfy: Beckett will have to see if his digit is healed sufficiently enough to take the mound Tuesday in Oakland; ManRam is officially 'day-to-day' with what has been revealed to be a mild case of patella tendinitis, so his return is unsure; and the Herald is reporting that Papi checked into Mass General Saturday night after experiencing an irregular heartbeat Friday and it continued into Saturday. It was supposedly nothing major, and Papi hasn't seemed to feel any ill effects judging by his performance since the stay: 7-19, .368, 3HRs, 4RBI in 5 games. Also, rookie Dustin Pedroia took over 2B duites from Mark Loretta last night as Loretta nurses a sore quad. Ay yah yah...

Let's hope that the Red Sox MASH Unit heals up soon, so at least the team has a change to make a run for the playoffs with all of its regular staters competing for them.

Up next: Tonight @ Seattle,10PM EST Schill goes for win #15 vs. young southpaw Jake Woods (3-1, 3.88). How much you wanna bet Schill doesn't let the team start another losing streak, especially against a rookie?!

GB: Stanks lost last night, Sox gained 1 gm, trail by 5 1/2

WC: Chisox bludgeoned Detroit last night, Sox remain 4 GB, w/ Minny in front of them

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