Sunday, August 26, 2007


The Red Sox crushed the White Sox today. Again. This time the score was 11-1. I'm not sure that this makes up for losing to them in the '05 playoffs (actually I am sure: it doesn't) but at least its nice to cream those guys.

Heres some notes on today's masterpiece:

• J.D. Drew hit a homer. Seriously! It actually happened.

• Big Papi hit yet another homer.
In his last ten games Ortiz is hitting .462 with five homers. Not only is he heating up, but he’s doing it at the most important time (end of the year, Yankees series coming up). Raise your hand if you are surprised.

• With first and second and one out in the fifth and the score tied 1-1, Julio Lugo was able to beat out a relay throw and avoid a double play after grounding to third base. Lugo's hustle/speed/lousy hitting kept the inning alive.

On the 2-2 pitch to Dustin Pedroia Lugo stole second base. This brought the count full with runners on second and third. Big Papi was on deck. Everyone knew what Vazquez was going to throw because if ever there was a fastball count this was it. Vazquez threw it and Pedroia didn’t miss it, lining it over the shortstop’s head for a two run single. If anyone doubts that Vazquez made the wrong choice, Papi hit the next pitch over the center field wall to make it 5-1.

• His Craziness, Julian Tavarez threw as well today as he has all season. He gave up only one run (on a solo homer to Jermaine Dye) and two hits over six innings, striking out seven while walking three. Excellent performance by Tavarez, who out-pitched his counterpart by a lot.

• Playing for Many Ramirez,
Bobby Kielty singled (on a bunt) and hit a two run homer in four at-bats. He drove in eight runs over the course of the four game series.

• From the “Who Cares? Department”: Kielty is the third Red Sox player on the team to hit without batting gloves. The other two are Doug Mirabelli and Coco Crisp.

• This marks the fourth consecutive game the Red Sox have scored ten or more runs. The cumulative score of this four game series was Red Sox 46, White Sox 7.

• Your Daily Second Guessing (brought to you by Bad Idea Jeans):

El Guapo's Ghost wrote up a feature about Francona's mis-use of Papelbon in blowouts recently. I wrote in and defended Francona, saying that Paps had begun warming while the games were still close. Thus, Francona's actual choices, regardless of the score, were to either use Paps after he was warm, or to warm up another guy and use him instead. The first way you end up killing a fly with a machine gun. With the second you effectively end up using two relievers to fill the slot of one. In this writer's humble opinion Francona had made the correct choices, he had just gotten unlucky (so to speak) that the Red Sox had scored when they did.

Today, we get to revisit the same issue again, but this time Francona made it impossible to defend him. With the score 6-1 in the seventh inning against a lousy opponent, he used three of his top four relievers to finish up the game. Francona brought in Delcarmen, Gagne, and then inexplicably Papelbon in the ninth. You have to wonder about this.

I love the win, and I really love the four game sweep. But the next three games on the schedule are with a much more formidable opponent who, I might also add, we have the opportunity to really put the screws to. I would think that keeping our three best relievers rested, even if they haven’t been worked much over the weekend, would be of paramount importance. In the ninth Papelbon struck out Thome, Konerko, and Pierzynski on thirteen pitches. Wouldn’t you have preferred it had been Abreu, Jeter, and A-Rod?

AL East:
The Yankees lost to the Tigers, 5-4. After coming as close as 4.0 games, the Evil Empire has fallen back to 7.5. But only 7 in the loss column. Starting tomorrow we go to New York to finish them off. Go Sox!

Boston is now 80-51, for the best record in baseball, the first team to eighty wins in the majors.

In case you are wondering how this weekend went for the Yankees, I’ll quote Alex Belth, an excellent blogger and devout Yankee fan, who put it this way “…sheer agony…” Would you forgive my callousness if I said something vaguely mean? Fabulous.

Tomorrow (Monday): The Red Sox are off on Monday. Tuesday they head to the great toilet in the Bronx to face the Yankees. Everyone together: "Oooooo..." Daisuke Matsuzaka starts versus Andy Pettitte at 7:05pm EST. More on this series tomorrow here at FPE. Thanks for reading.

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