Friday, September 5, 2008

Blue Jays are Doing Their Best for the Red Sox

The Yankees gave the Red Sox a nice 2 game jump in the AL East standings by beating the Rays on two straight nights, when the Red Sox were in the process of beating up the Orioles. That narrowed the Rays' lead from 5 games to 3. Last night, the Yankees dropped the ball, losing to the Rays 7-5. Well, what can you expect when they are up against a superior team with a true ace on the mound (Scott Kazmir). Of course, the Rays almost blew that one. They carried a 7-0 lead into the 9th inning, before reliever, Jason Hammel, allowed 5 runs to score. Close call there.

But, while the Yankees have been somewhat helpful, the Blue Jays are becoming our best friends. The Wild Card Race has been reasonably tight, up until the Twins traveled up to Canada for a 3 game series in Toronto. The Jays simply swept the Twins, including a win last night, and that increased the Red Sox' hold on the Wild Card to 5 1/2 games over Minnesota, and 7 1/2 games over New York.

The Jays have a chance to truly show their support for the Red Sox as they kick off a three game series against Tampa Bay starting tonight in Toronto. If the Red Sox can win their series against Texas, and the Jays do the same to the Rays, then we could find ourselves in serious striking distance when the Rays show up in Boston on Monday night!

Tonight, the Sox have, possibly their toughest game of the three against the Rangers. Josh Beckett should pitch well, but he's been out for a couple of weeks, so you never know. The good thing is that Dr. Andrews has assured him his elbow is structurally sound. That frees up his mind from holding back. He should be able to let loose, and that should produce good results. But, Terry Francona wants him on a 75 or so pitch count. That could mean leaving the game in the 4th or 5th inning, and leaving a lot of time for the bullpen to get themselves in trouble.

Meanwhile, Texas will be starting Kevin Millwood. You know how the Red Sox can truly take advantage of a pitcher without good control (just ask the Orioles)? Give up a few walks, get the pitch count up, and by the 5th inning the game is out of control! Well, that won't happen tonight. Millwood has only allowed one walk in his past 24 2/3 innings! He has also won his last 3 outings , including a win on August 31 against the Angels, and gave up a total of 4 runs in those 3 games, and two of those games were complete 9 inning outings for Millwood.

So, I just don't get good vibes for this game. Combine the above with the fact the Sox have won 3 straight, makes me feel like they are due for a loss. But, I'll tune in and hopefully get the pleasure of witnessing a different result. The one thing I think the Sox might get a boost from is the return of Mike Lowell and Sean Casey from the. That could end up being the secret to a victory tonight.


Fenway West said...

I'm ok with a loss tonight as long as the Sox win this series. Beckett will be on a low pitch count so it will be up to the pen tonight. I wonder if Pedroia will provide some more fireworks.

Go Sox!!

Rooster said...

I'm with you. You really can't expect to win evey game, or even every series. Tonight's game is not a sure win by any means, but if they lose this and win the next two, that would be a job well done.

They certainly should take at least 2 of 3 from Texas.

Pedroia has to cool off at some point - hopefully not until December! Any test him for steroids lately? He's approaching 20 dingers!