Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Orioles Cannot Keep Red Sox at Bay

Yes, I'm talking about Jason Bay, last night's offensive hero. Bay got the scoring going in the second inning with a solo home run. Two outs later, another Jason, this one named Varitek, hit his own solo home run to give the Sox a 2-0 lead. Good to see the Captain contributing at the plate. This is a good time of year to get hot. Which is what Bay was last night, as shown clearly when he launched his second homer of the game, this one a two run shot in the 8th inning that gave the Sox the insurance runs they would need en route to a final score of 6-3.
Jason Bay
I expected the pitching duel between Jon Lester and Jeremie Guthrie to be a good one, and it was. Both pitchers battled well and they each lasted 7 innings. Lester allowed 4 hits, struck out 5 batters, and the only run he gave up was a solo home run to Aubrey Huff. Guthrie was nearly as good, allowing 5 hits and striking out 4 batters, and the only runs he allowed were the solo home runs to the two Jason's in the second inning.

The rest of the scoring all came off the bullpens. For the Sox, Manny Delcarmen came in to start the 8th inning. Things looked good when he got the first two batters out, but when he proceeded to walk the next two batters, Terry Francona opted to bring in Jonathan Papelbon to keep the game from quickly getting out of hand. At that point, the score was 4-1, and Aubrey Huff was the next batter. A home run from Huff would tie the game. Papelbon prevented Huff from hitting a home run, but not from doing some damage. Huff got some good wood on an outside pitch and drove it to the left field gap for a double, scoring two runs (both charged to Manny - sorry Manny!).
Jon Lester
In the 9th inning, the Sox scored two more to get some breathing room, and Papelbon shut the door on the Orioles for his 33rd save of the season. The Rays won, yet again, so the Sox gained no ground on the AL East leaders, but they did gain a game in the Wild Card standings when Minnesota lost to the A's 3-2.

Next up, Daisuke Matsuzaka takes the mound against Daniel Cabrera tonight in Baltimore. Should be another interesting pitching match up. If Dice-K wins, it will be his 15th win this year, further adding to his case as a valid Cy Young candidate (I'm thinking Lon Lester is pitching his way into Cy Young contention as well!). Let's hope he is crafty as ever and can please the Boston crowd in Fenway II, otherwise known as Camden Yards.

(Photos Courtesy of ESPN)


Peter N said...

I read your comment over at my place and you're right! I guess great Sox minds think alike. Tonight, GO DAISUKE!

Suldog said...

Great to see Tek knock one out. He's never been the type to go on a torrid hot streak, but I keep hoping.

Fenway West said...

Not a bad day at the plate for the Sox but I have to say the Sox best lineup seems to be when Drew leads off as strange as that is, Coco and Jacoby are not doing much to set the table when they lead off but I still like having Ellsbury in the lineup, Coco can ride some pine.

Rooster said...

Peter - too true, too true!

Sul, it was good to see. Even if he does not go on a streak, it is nice to see him contribute with the bat.

They do seem to produce well with Drew at the top, but his bat is too powerful to be used purely as a leadoff. Elsbury and Coco are the typical leadoff types, except they just can't get on base lately!