Saturday, June 16, 2007


The Red Sox only run came on a Manny solo shot into the Monster seats in left. Yuck. Other than yesterday, the offense has been MIA for the past week or so. Fortunately, Matsuzaka, Okajima, and Papelbon gave up one less than one, or zero, combining on a four hit shut-out of the Giants.

For those interested in such things, Barry Bonds went 0-3 with a walk. Despite that lackluster performance, he was involved in a pivotal moment in the game. In the eighth inning, Okajima came on to relieve Matsuzaka. Okajima walked the first hitter and gave up a single to the second. Bonds was up third.

With men on first and second, Okajima missed with his first two pitches, putting Bonds up in the count 2-0. Okajima then threw a curveball for a strike, and a fastball on the outside corner to bring the count even. With everyone holding their breath (somehow that helps?), the next pitch was a fastball that caught the inside corner at the last second, freezing bonds and ending the threat. It was a terrific pitch by Okajima, who was then able to retire the next two hitters to preserve the 1-0 lead.

Papelbon came on and retired the Giants easily, 1-2-3.

While the Sox pitching was magnificent today their hitting was somewhere south of that. Matt Cain pitched seven innings of one run ball, but he only struck out one guy (Ortiz, looking) and didn't look particularly note worthy in the process. I wasn't there, but it didn't look to me like he was fooling the Sox hitters, yet he was still getting some easy outs. There weren't many hard hit balls despite the fact that Cain fell behind a bunch of hitters in the count. Hopefully the Sox can right the offense soon. Matsuzaka won't throw seven shutout innings every time out.

AL East: New York and Toronto also won. Baltimore and Tampa play later tonight.

Tomorrow: Tim Wakefield gets the start. He'll face aging junkballer Matt Morris at 2:05pm EST.

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