Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Red Sox Steal Another One Run Game From Twins

The Twins sure do make for exciting baseball. Two games into the three game series have featured excellent pitching, terrific defense, smart base running, strategic managerial moves, and (thankfully) two one run wins for the Red Sox.

Brandon MossOne of the most frustrating areas for the Red Sox recently has been the ineptitude of the bottom of the order. In tough situations, the 7-8-9 batters have not been getting it done. So, Terry Francona mixed things up a bit last night. Rather than Crisp, Varitek, and Lugo at the bottom of the order, last night's lineup featured Brandon Moss, Julio Lugo and Kevin Cash. Lugo was typical Lugo, and Cash mostly served to give Varitek a night off. However, Moss was able to provide the spark at the bottom of the lineup that had been sorely missing.

In the 7th inning, with Kevin Youkilis on third form a well hit triple and one out, Moss came through with a sacrifice fly to plate Youk for Boston's second run of the game. Then, in the 8th inning, after Manny Ramirez had already tied the game with a much needed 3 run home run, Youkilis hit a two out double to keep the rally alive. Recently, we would have expected You to get stranded on 2nd base with a strikeout or a weak ground out. But, Moss was batting with confidence and sliced a single back up the middle to score Youk for the go ahead run.

Manny Ramirez HomersYes, Manny Ramirez is starting to look like he's breaking out of his recent slump. When Manny keeps his head down and drives the ball solidly to right center field, you know he's starting to get locked in. That is exactly the type of hit he has been starting to reconnect with. His two run homer in the 8th to tie the game was a breath of fresh air to Boston fans. Just what the home crowd needed to see.

It got Jon Lester off the hook for the loss. Lester had a decent night, pitching into the 8th inning. His one big blemish was the 4th inning when it seemed like no matter what he threw, it got hit. The Twins hitters just looked locked in in that inning. Lester's pitches were not that bad, but the Twins were able to make contact and put three runs on the board. Lester battled through it and, again, went deep into the game to take the pressure off the bullpen.

How about poor Sean Casey? I'm starting to wonder if Tito wants to get a left handed reliever into the game. It seems every time Casey steps out of the dugout to pinch hit, the opposing manager yanks his righty off the mound and sends in a lefty. Then, Tito sends Casey back to the bench. Casey shouldn't even bother grabbing a bat or helmet, just step onto the field, wave to the opposing manager, and take a seat. And by the way, does anyone else see a strong resemblance between Dennys Reyes and El Guapo (Rich Garces)? Must be long lost brothers!

El GuapoDennys Reyes

The Yankees were helpful last night in beating the Rays 5-0 behind a terrific outing from Andy Pettitte. The Rays are having a strong season, but at some point, they will need to win the big games on the road. The Rays' loss moved the Sox up to 3 games out of first place. Can the Yankees take another from the Rays behind the drunken Aruban (Sidney Ponson) tonight to give the Sox a shot at moving up to 2 games out? To do so, the Sox will have to do their part by beating the Twins this afternoon behind ace, Josh Beckett. Sounds like a plan!

(Photos Courtesy of Yahoo Sports)


Suldog said...

El Guapo! My day is now complete! Thanks, Rooster!

Soxlosophy said...

Yeah, if Reyes didn't want to draw the Guapo comparison, he shouldn't have grown identical facial hair.

And you're right about Manny, though the homer he hit was to leftcenter- he turned on the inside pitch. It's just good to see him hitting again, to all fields.

wicked pissa dude said...

Update for yesterdays smashing of the Twinkies...Great game last night and thankfully the umps revisited that fly ball that did in fact drop and got the call right. We needed that explosion to lead into the All Star break. One more series, we could pick up a game or two from the Rays and go into the break strong.

Rooster said...

S - I wasn't trying to imply that all of his hits would be to right - just that when he starts going that way solidly, it is usually just the beginning of a hot strek coming up. Maybe he'll stay hot through the Orioles series - that would be nice!

WPD - I'm with you. The Orioles have a way of derailing the Sox at times, but hopefully not this time. I'd love to gain another game or two before the break.

Sul - LOL! When I saw Reyes, I actually did a double take! Close resemblance!

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