Finally, for the first time in nearly a week, Red Sox fans do not have to hang their heads over a Red Sox loss the night before. This breaks a streak of 5 nights in a row that the Red Sox have been defeated. Terry Francona was his usual stoic self after the milestone was reached. "I'm just proud of these guys. They know what they need to do and support each other day in and day out. Last night, there was no way they were going to let their fans suffer through another loss".
The most encouraging sign last night was the fact that the bullpen gave up no runs, and did not contribute to a disheartening loss, as they did in 3 of the past 5 games. Mike Timlin had this to say. "It does feel good. It seems like every night something goes wrong, but last night we made it look easy. Maybe that will help us get back on track".
"Nothing boosts a bullpen like a night where you give up no runs", added pitching coach John Farrell. "I'm really proud of these guys. It just shows what they are made of". Theo Epstein added, "You can see we are not going to bend to public pressure to make crazy moves to bolster our pitching depth. Sometimes if you just give it a little time, the schedule can take care of things for you".
Not everyone felt the loss-less night was a sign of good things to come. Team Captain, Jason Varitek, was more reserved in his analysis. "Well, to be honest, I have to give most of the credit to the schedulers. They are the ones who really helped break this streak of losing every night. I know people have been down on the schedulers for the hell they put us through up until now, but last night we saw how the schedule can contribute to our success as well".
Left fielder, Manny Ramirez, had this to say. "I don't know nothing about that, man. I just love to play".
So, with the streak of consecutive nights with a loss finally behind them, the Red Sox will try for a win tonight, at home, in friendly Fenway Park. Jon Lester gets the call against Blue Jays' ace, Roy Halladay. Halladay is coming off of his third consecutive complete game. So, it is going to be tough to get him off the hill. He has been throwing well, but has yet to look like the ace he has in the past. The Sox should get a boost with the expected return of Mike Lowell from the DL, and the re-insertion of Big Papi into the lineup after a couple of days off for a bruised knee. The Jays look tough on paper, but have yet to step it up, currently supporting an 11-15 record.
It is one thing not to lose. Tonight, it needs to be time to WIN.
(The above quotes are works of fiction, the facts are accurate)
Game 135 Lineup: Red Sox vs. Rays 8/30/14
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