Sunday, May 06, 2007

We Win!/We Lose!

Like Curt said, we don't need him. I won't lie and say I didn't want him, but Roger made his choice. Like Red said, Roger could've owned this town. OWNED it, like a returning hero, like Johnny D, and Manny, and Schill won't ever know. But he chose to go back to New York. Not an entirely unsurprising decision when you really think about it. When Roger pitched last for the Red Sox I was in high school. For the three of you reading this who don't actually know me, that was a long time ago. The team had different ownership, completely different players (except for one guy), heck, even the ballpark was different back then. When Roger last pitched for the Yankees it was three years ago. Everything is almost exactly the same, from the Toilet in the Bronx, the raving lunatic in the owners box, and the monotone GM, to the players who Roger knows. In retrospect, it would have been surprising if Clemens had decided to come back to Boston, 5.5 game lead or not.

Roger made his choice, and Roger makes the Yankees better, but lets not let that choice obscure reality. Its the Red Sox, not the Yankees who have the best record in the American League. And its the Red Sox, not the Yankees, who are in first place in the AL East. And its the Red Sox, not the Yankees, who have a winning record. There will certainly be more about Roger this year, how much he makes, how much he costs, and how much he's worth to the Yankees, but for now, lets focus on the fact that the Sox showed again last night why they are the team to beat in the American League.

With great starting pitching, enough offense and a killer back end of the bullpen the Sox took two of three in Minnesota, winning last night's game 4-3. With a few less base running blunders this game wouldn't have been as close either. Thanks to a bit of bone-headedness from Alex Cora (he of the .790 batting average), the Sox lost a run that they score 2,000 times out of 2,001 when Cora was thrown out trying to advance to second just a split second before Dustin Pedroia, who was tagging from 3rd, crossed the plate. Cora's out was the third and Pedroia's run didn't count as the inning had ended. Hopefully Cora won't make that mistake again this year. The Red Sox were fortunate that it ended up not hurting them.

Schilling had it going on through 6, painting corners and keeping the Twins off balance. He got tired and lost it in the seventh after 99 pitches. Fortunately he was saved by the dynamic duo of Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon, who came on to record 2.1 innings of scoreless ball (though Okajima did allow his first inherited runner to score) to hold the Twins in check and lock down another win.

AL East: The Red Sox and Yankees both won yesterday, while the Blue Jays, Rays, and Orioles lost. The Red Sox lead the division by 5.5 over New York, 6.5 over Baltimore and Tampa, and 7.5 over Toronto.

Today (Monday): The Red Sox are off today. They begin a three game series in Toronto tomorrow. Beckett, Matsuzaka, and Wakefield will go against Victor Zambrano, Tomo Ohka, and Roy Halladay.

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