Thursday, July 12, 2007


I caught the first three innings of the game, but then I had to go. There was a movie playing on the banks of the Schuylkill here in Philadelphia, so my bride and I went to see Napoleon Dynamite projected on a forty foot inflatable screen by the river.

It was a perfect night out, west coast weather. Only downfall was I didn't get to watch the Red Sox win their first game after the all-star break. Fortunately, it turns out that the Red Sox don't need me to win, as they beat Toronto 7-4.

The Sox weren't looking at a favorable matchup with Toronto ace Roy Halladay on the mound for the Blue Jays. Either Halladay didn't have it tonight, or as Jerry Remy surmised, the Sox just put together some good at-bats against him, but in either case, the Sox scored early and often on Halladay. Ol' Roy threw over 40 pitches in the first inning securing the fact that he wouldn't be in the game for the long haul. He also gave up four runs in said inning, securing the fact that his teammates might not want him in there anyway.

Big Papi had three hits, though his third hit, a double by the door in center field, was aided slightly by the fact that Vernon Wells isn't Coco Crisp (Coco = D!). Manny and Julio Lugo had two hits a piece.

Despite the Sox early lead, the game got close. Right about when Napoleon got hit in the head with a flying ham the Jays scored two in the top of the sixth making it 5-4. But the Sox came right back with two of their own in the bottom of the inning thanks to Big Papi's double.

The Sox bullpen (Delcarmen, Okajima, and Papelbon) then threw three shutout innings and that was the ball game.

It was good to start the second half with good pitching and some production from the middle of the lineup. It was especially good to see Manny and Papi carry the load offensively. Combined, the two went 5 for 9 with 5 RBIs and 3 runs scored.

Delcarmen was so efficient that he wasn't even featured on's condensed game. As a reliever, you know you did your job when you throw a whole inning and don't even get mentioned in the condensed game. His emergence has bolstered the bullpen without giving up any talent to do so.

It will be interesting to see what the Sox do when Donnelly and Piniero come back off the DL. Someone's going to have to go. While I admire his effort and his sense of team, I think Piniero should be the one. He's the worst reliever in the pen. The question with that is will the Sox eat his $4M salary assuming they can't trade him (if they can, what are they waiting for?). There are easier moves to make, like sending Lopez or Delcarmen back down to Pawtucket, but both of them are pitching well and contributing.

AL East: The Yankees beat Tampa while Baltimore lost to Chicago. The Red Sox lead the division by 10.0 games over New York, 11.0 over Toronto, 16.0 Baltimore, and a nice clean 20.0 games over Tampa.

Tomorrow (Friday): The Sox continue their four game series with Toronto. His Craziness, Julian Tavarez tries to redeem himself after last outing's craptastic crapisode. He is opposed by Shaun Marcum, who got shelled in his previous start by Cleveland. Game time 7:05


Of note: The local nine, also called the Phillies, are on the verge of a historic precipice. As the professional sports franchise with the most loses in the history of all recorded professional sports, the Phillies set the standard for futility. Tomorrow, against the Cardinals here in Philadelphia, they have a chance to reach a benchmark: the ten thousandth loss as a franchise. If I can get tickets, some friends and I intend to go and watch history. May I never say this again, but... Go Cardinals!

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