Saturday, August 04, 2007


This ending was drawn up by the front office. The Red Sox took a two run lead into the eighth inning. First, Eric Gagne, then Jon Papelbon. Then game over, right? Well, not quite.

Gagne came on in the eighth and did just as he did in Boston: get the first two guys out before allowing a series of hits and a run. Having not seen Gagne pitch much its hard to say what the issue is. He looks pretty dominating on the first two hitters, then someone (sorry, its too late to look all this crap up) hit a slow roller up the middle that just made it through for a base hit.

The next hitter (I think it was Kenji Jojima) crushed a single to left off the scoreboard to score the runner. It would have been a double but Manny made a great play off the wall and held Jojima to a single. It was fortunate that he did because the next hitter crushed Gagne's first pitch to left for a double. The M's had second and third but Gagne got out of it.

Then Papelbon. Like Gagne he looked dominant striking out the first two hitters he faced, including Ichiro, who is notoriously difficult to strike out. Then, as if struck with Matsuzaka disease, Paps walked the next two guys putting the tying and winning runners on base before getting Adrian Beltre to pop out to Jason Varitek.

FINALLY! A win in Seattle. Its only been a year. The Sox had lost nine straight and as the Yankees won (again) would have seen their lead drop to six games.

Matsuzaka started and as seems to be the case, was in a constant state of trouble. But when the game ends and you look at his stats, you see how dominant he was. Over seven innings, Matsusaka allowed two runs, both on solo homers, struck out ten(!), and walked only two. He left the game leading 4-2.

Offensively, Jason Varitek scored Ortiz and Manny with his two out double in the fourth giving the Sox the lead. Papi had a single in the sixth that allowed Youkilis to score, though Youk would have stopped at third if Jose Guillen hadn't thrown the ball over Beltre's head. Turns out Youk would have scored anyway, as Manny followed by doubling home Ortiz to make it 4-1.

AL East: The Yankees won, Tampa beat Baltimore, and Toronto won. The Red Sox remain 7.0 games ahead of New York. They lead Toronto by 11.5, Baltimore by 15.5, and Tampa by 24.5 games.

Today (Sunday): The Red Sox finish up the three game series with the Mariners. The rubber match features Josh Beckett and Miguel Batista. Game time is 4:05pm EST.

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