Thursday, June 19, 2008

JD Drew Leads Red Sox Past Phillies 7-4

I am not sure Phillies' starter, Kyle Kendrick, was fully warmed up when this game started. Kyle started the game by giving up singles to Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, and then gave up a 3 run home run to JD Drew followed by a solo shot to Mike Lowell. Before the Phillies could score a single out, the Sox were up 4-0. It was nice to see the Red Sox hitting for power with both Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis getting the night off to nurse minor injuries. Dustin Pedroia's single may have been aided by Jacoby's presence on first base. During Pedroia's at-bat, Kendrick threw 4 pick off attempts to first base, and tried a pitch out once. All to keep Ellsbury close to first. That level of effort focused on the base runner can only help the hitter.

JD DrewAfter Mike Lowell's home run the Phillie's pitching coach visited the mound. I don't know what he told Kendrick, but it worked, as Kendrick immediately set the next three batters down 1-2-3. The Sox would get to Kendrick again in the 3rd inning. JD Drew hit a double (one of 4 hits in the game for Drew!), Mike Lowell was hit by a pitch, and Jason Varitek walked to load the bases with 2 outs. Another injury hit the Red Sox when Coco Crisp strained his hand on a swing in his first at bat. Brandon Moss replaced Crisp and took advantage of the situation by lining a single to center scoring two runs. JD Drew would drive in the 7th run with a single in the 4th inning scoring Pedroia from second base. While the Sox are without their usual big hitters, particularly Big Papi, JD Drew continues to fill the gap admirably, continuing the biggest tear he's been on in a Sox uniform.

Justin MastersonAll those runs contributed to Justin Masterson earning his 4th win of the season. Masterson pitched well, but ran his pitch count up too soon, departing after 5 innings. In this game, it would be Craig Hansen who came out of the bullpen and forgot how to pitch. The other day it was Mike Timlin, and prior to that Hideki Okajima was the culprit. But, in this game, Hansen got to show that he will not be brilliant every night. Here is what Hansen did in the 7th. He gave up a lead off single, followed by a walk, a wild pitch, and a single that scored two runs. That was enough for Terry Francona, and Hansen got a quick hook. Luckily, Manny Delcarmen did remember how to pitch and salvaged the 7th inning and pitched a scoreless 8th inning. Jonathan Papelbon wrapped up the ninth for his 21st save of the season.

The Red Sox get today off, and hopefully everyone will take a nice big rest and heal those nagging injuries. Kevin Youkilis ought to be back in the lineup on Friday, recovered from back spasms. Manny Ramirez may also at least return to the DH spot on Friday in Fenway Park. Coco Crisp is a day to day decision. We won't really know more until he sees how it the hand feels the day after. With the St. Louis Cardinals coming to the Fens, we get to see a rematch of the 2004 World Series. Unfortunately, too much time has passed for this to still hold the intrigue it would have 3 years ago, but it will still be fun to beat up on them one more time.

Tim Wakefield will start the series off, followed by the return of 8-0 Dice-K Matsuzaka from the DL on Saturday, and Jon Lester on Sunday. The Sox should fare better against NL teams at home where they can rely on the DH being in place. Just keep winning at this pace, and no one will be catching them!

(Photos Courtesy of ESPN)


Peter N said...

What a team effort, and Delcarmen and JD were great.

Rooster said...

Peter - I finally posted early enough for you - lol! I am excited they took 2 of 3 in Philly with less than 100% of their lineup. Like you said - team effort!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the game, and I can't think of a worse way for the Phillies to have started it, including those 4 pickoff attempts - Is Jacoby in pitchers' heads or what?!

Also, did you see Parade magazine in Sunday's Boston Globe?- The coverstory is on Pierce Brosnan. Inside the title reads "You've got to be a Fighting Rooster."


Rooster said...

Caroline - I did not notice that, thanks for sharing!

What do we do with a day off? I guess watch a Celtics parade!

Fenway West said...

That was a very enjoyable of the perks of being a teacher is having the summers off and getting to watch weekday day games. The did well at the plate without Youk, Manny and Ortiz.

Rooster said...

FW - I should have gone in to teaching! Both my parents were teachers, you'd think I would have caught on to the benefits.

But, I just got back from the Celtics Parade! Took a 5 minute walk over, they came by 10 minutes later, and walked back. It was a lot of fun - smiles everywhere. Rondo was just in heaven!

gingerly said...

What you said about the pitcher focusing on Ellsbury and letting Pedroia get on base struck a chord with me. I've been thinking other teams, when they let Ellsbury on, should just ignore him and consider it a run the second he hits 1st base. I mean, all the pitchers are losing it over Ellsbury. Wouldn't writing him off be more profitable to their game? It was fun, though, and I hope you're right about us clubbing the Cardinals.

Rooster said...

G - that's a tough call, and changes depending on the game situation. In a close game, you'd hate to let Ellsbury get on second where he can easily score on most singles. But, if the pitcher gets too distracted, the batter gets on anyway.

But, that's the beauty of speed on the bases - creates all kinds of problems for the defense!

Peter N said...

I KNOW you had fun at the Rolling Rally..gee, great post. Hello everyone! Thanks Rooster. The pre-game ceremony should be great tonight at our Fens.

Rooster said...

Peter - the rally was fun, and quick enough to squeeze in during work. The players were so thrilled - I loved the look on the young guys' faces - especially Rondo!

Looking forward to seeing green tonight!