Monday, June 16, 2008

Red Sox Take 2 Out of 3 from Reds

Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz were missing from the lineup, but the Red Sox offense did not seem to notice, rolling to a 9-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds yesterday. With Josh Beckett on the mound, 9 runs is far more than they ever would have needed. The offense got started with speed, when Jacoby Ellsbury lead off the game with a single and promptly stole 2nd base, and then 3rd base. Exactly what the Sox need to do with less firepower in the lineup. Dustin Pedroia did his part by hitting a sacrifice fly ball to score Ellsbury for the winning run. That's right, the second batter of the game drove in the first batter of the game for the winning run!

Jacoby Ellsbury StealsEllsbury's 2 steals set a new record for steals for a Red Sox rookie with 33. The previous record was set 100 years ago in 1908 by Amby McConnell, remember him? With the season not even at the half way mark, Jacoby should be a shoo-in to break the all time Red Sox stolen base record of 54, set by Tommy Harper in 1973! As long as Ellsbury stays healthy, this one is well within reach.

After getting things started with speed, the Sox fell back on their true love, power! Cincinnati is known as a home run friendly park, and the Red Sox sure would agree with four players hitting home runs yesterday. Jacoby Ellsbury hit one to prove he is not only about speed, and Coco Crisp, JD Drew, and Dustin Pedroia all joined in with home runs of their own. Crisp had a nice day, accounting for 4 RBI's, and JD Drew refused to cool off, belting his 11th home run of the year.
Coco Crisp Home Run
All of this offense just made it too easy for Beckett. Josh went 7 innings, allowing no runs on 6 hits and 6 strike outs for his 7th win of the season. His best outing in a few starts. With Dice-K Matsuzaka still on the DL, it is good to see the Red Sox Ace step up and take charge! Speaking of Dice-K, he is scheduled to make a rehab start with the Pawtucket Red Sox on Monday. If all goes well, Dice-K is penciled in to come of the DL and make a start with the Sox on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals. That gives Justin Masterson time to squeeze in one more start this Wednesday in Philadelphia before swapping places with Matsuzaka. I expect Masterson will make the most of it.

Josh BeckettThe Red Sox will kick off a 3 game series against the Phillies beginning tonight, when Bartolo Colon will continue his terrific comeback. Now, before you go and start putting this one in the win column consider two things. The first is that the Phillies are having a great season. They are in first place in the NL East with a 41-30 record (compared to to the Red Sox record of 44-28). They are a slugging team this year, leading the NL in most offensive stats. If the Sox are going to win in Philly, they will have to prove their pitchers can stop a truly potent offense. Are you listening Colon, Lester, and Masterson? That goes for the bullpen too! And with Ortiz still on the DL, and Manny possibly sidelined with a strained hamstring, the Sox will not be bringing the same punch to the table. The Sox will be facing good pitching as well, including an old nemesis, Janie Moyer. I know, you thought he had retired and become a cross walk guard a long time ago. But, no, the crafty 45 year old lefty is actually still pitching, and pitching well, as his 7-3 record this year shows.

While the Red Sox often play in friendly ballparks when they are on the road (Baltimore and Tampa Bay spring to mind), Philadelphia will not be so welcoming. In fact, they've pretty much had it with our Red Sox Nation, and seem to be very tired of the Red Sox winning. They liked us when we lost as often and as painfully as they do. But, now that we have built a solid team capable of winning championships, they feel left out. In fact, Bob Ford, an Inquirer Sports Columnist, seems to feel that Red Sox Nation is a scourge on the country. Sheesh, talk about jealous whining! Especially from a team in first place. Maybe they just want more attention?

Well, if I were you, I would not miss this series - a battle of first place superpowers, the winner securing bragging rights!


Suldog said...

I'm getting slightly antsy again about the C's. They should win it Tuesday, but I grew up a Sox fan as well as a Celtic's fan, so I have a bit of that dread still lingering...

Rooster said...

That was a tough game. The refs really were tough on Garnett, every time he linked it was a foul. Smells fishy, but they got behind by too much too early on. They used up all their magic cathcing up, but did not have enough left to finish them off.

I can picture a 24 point win in game 5 - just like the final game against Cleveland. But, being a long time Sox fan, I can also picture disaster - but the dread I feel seems silly - the Lakers just are not as good!

Rooster said...

That should have said "blinked" not "linked".