Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Schilling gets 3000th K in loss to A's

Sox lose 7-2 despite Schilling's historic strikeout
Milestones are always nice; they put a player's career into historic perspective, allowing him to be compared to his peers over many generations. They can also help take the sting off of a deflating loss.
So when Curt Schilling fanned Nick Swisher for the first out of the 1st inning to become just the 14th pitcher in ML history to reach the magical number, and the Oakland crowd gave him a standing 'O', it had to be a sweet moment amidst all the turmoil of the past few weeks.

But knowing the competitor that Schill is I'm sure he didn't bask in the glow of becoming the first hurler to join the 3000 K Club since Greg Maddux last July; no, he was too busy being roughed up by the scorching Oakland hitters to the tune of 11 hits and 6 runs to go in 5 1/3 innings, including 2 HRs. He has not won since Aug 4th at Tampa Bay.

With the nucleus of Boston's attack all back east nursing their various injuries, the Sox really had little chance of beating Oakland lefty Barry Zito (15-8) unless Schill pitched a shutout. And although Hinske had an RBI single for the second straight game to get the Sox on the board in the 2nd, Oakland answered in their half when Bobby Kielty belted a solo shot with 2 outs. In the 3rd Mark Ellis lead off with his 10th blast, and although I didn't see the game(thankfully) I'm sure all RSN members thought the exact same thing: "uh-oh, here we go again", possibly followed by the 'click' of the remote.

Oakland tacked on RBI hits in the 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 7th, but the way this team is playing it was over after Ellis' dinger. You could have labeled this the TEAMS GOING IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS BOWL. Boston's record for August fell to a ghastly 8-21, the most losses in a month since 1984, and they have currently lost 6 straight and 12 of 14. Meanwhile Oakland is ready to put a Pat Riley-like patent on the term 'second half comeback' as the streaking A's have ripped of a 21-6 run in the Dog Days off August to stretch their once tenuous AL West ead to 7 1/2 over Anaheim. To put it into perspective, on July 4th Boston had a 3 game lead over the Stankees in the East; today they are 8 1/2 behind.

The news on Papi is pretty positive- it looks like a common heart condition that can be caused by and corrected with many things- but with Boomer Wells apparently headed back home to San Diego in a trade for youth and the rest of the wounded in various stages of recovery, at least on this glorious Northern California afternoon The Nation's hero could enjoy a moment of personal satisfaction. Even if he didn't enjoy it for very long.

Next game: Toronto @ Fenway, THU 7P They don't even get the day off after flying across the country- can we get an injury timeout, Commissioner Selig? And with the Blue Jays only 2 games behind Boston in the standings this could prove to be a big series, morale wise. It's one thing to get swept at home by NY or at Oakland, but not at home to the Blue Birds.

No comments: