Wednesday, September 8, 2004
Can you believe it? The Sox are still unconscious through game 3 of the Oakland
series. Though they are driving me crazy not getting the last out of this 8-3 game to
make a sweep, I hope the last out will be recorded while I'm writing. Ugh - he has to
put Keith Foulke in. Thank you - a soft fly to left with the bases loaded to finish it
off. Let me rant a little about this game and how I'm nervous in an 8-0 game. Tito
took out the whole team of regulars, and took out Pedro after 6 awesome innings. He put
in Pedro Astascio to check him out, then Terry Adams in supposed garbage time. The A's
got it back to 8-3 with the bases loaded. I as a fan am nervous any time I can see a
home run tying the game or making a blowout close. While the Sox are on this incredible
roll, they're still the Red Sox and they lose ugly sometimes. The worst losses are
games they had won, like this one.
So back to the glow. 8 out of 9 against the 3 west teams, how awesome is that. It's
pitching, defense, and the timely opportunistic hitting. 20 of 22 wins. I as a Sox fan
for 37 years have never seen a roll like this. And since it's pitching and defense, I
really think this could be it. On paper, this is the best team in the American League
and we play the Cardinals in the WS. But this is the Red Sox. The history, the curse -
that's what's working against us. We now have a 5 game lead for the wild card, and are
just 2 back of the Yankees. Wild card seems like a done deal, division quite possible
with 6 games head to head.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
The Sox lose another tonight, 5-2. Since beating the A's 3 in a row, they've fallen on
slightly hard times, losing 2 of 4 to the lowly Mariners, and 1 to the lowly Devil
Rays. Tonight they lose to Scott Kazmir. Three of their last 4 losses have been to
unknown rookie pitchers. What is it about these guys who have no fear?
The good signs tonight were that Pedro pitched a decent game, giving up just 2 runs
through 6 innings. The starting pitching has been excellent even in the losses, with
the exception of Wakefield (tomorrow's pitcher). Another good sign - a scoreless inning
from Scott Williamson. And yet another - a two run homer from Trot Nixon. Time to
start Trot as a regular.
So, it's not going to be so easy. The Yankees still have horrendous pitching every so
often, but have been winning most of the time. Last night they were hammered. Tonight
Mussina pitched a great game. It's a 4 game lead for the Yankees, 3 in the loss column,
and either 4 1/2 or 3 1/2 lead for the Sox in the wild card.
Friday, September 17, 2004
Red Sox at Yankees
Bronson Arroyo vs. El Duque
This was a terrific game to watch and remember. With two rain delays, excellent
pitching, and a great catch by Manny to rob Miguel Cairo of a home run, the Sox still
find themselves down 2-1 in the 9th. You know what that means, Mariano Rivera. No
chance, right? New York is something like 73-1 when ahead going into the 9th (the 1
being Mueller's walk-off against Rivera in July).
So can we pull off a miracle? Nixon walks, pinch run by Roberts. Roberts steals 2nd.
Millar is hit by a pitch, pinch run by Kapler. Cabrera gets a huge clutch single to
right to score Roberts. Damon hits a bloop single to center to score Kapler, as Lofton
lets drop perhaps a catchable ball as Rivera is caught on camera saying "catch the
ball!" Then Foulke gets the Yankees out 1-2-3 with two strikeouts and the game is ours.
It's now a 2 1/2 game lead, two in the loss column. This year really could be
different. This is usually not the kind of game that we win, and we came out on top.
The Yankees are beatable, Rivera is beatable.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Orioles at Red Sox
Tim Wakefield vs. Matt Reilly
The Sox put up two stinkers against the Yankees after a tremendous victory on Friday
beating Rivera. Tonight was another stinker against the Orioles. Wakefield walks a
few, gives up a grand slam. Then the exclaimation point happens with a botched rundown
between 3rd and home, costing the Sox a run and an out. They come back from 8-2 to make
it 8-6 but no go in the end.
Ok, a few good things. We fought back from 8-2 and the bullpen did well.
Now the bad and the ugly. What has happened to our starting pitching?!?! A few walks,
a grand salami, balls getting by the catcher, and that awful botched rundown play. This
looked like a bad little league team, not a team going to the playoffs. What is it
about these Orioles, who we’re now a pitiful 4-8? Wakefield? Sorry. I know he’s been
a good soldier for so long. But we cannot win games when we spot the other team 5 or 6
runs before the 5th inning. When he loses the feel of that knuckler, it goes all at
once. We cannot risk it in the playoffs.
Yes, I’m angry. The Sox played so well for that 30 game stretch it made you feel like
this was a championship team. Now they put up 3 stinkers in a row, making you feel like
this team is going nowhere.
Saturday, September 25, 2004
Yankees at Red Sox
Tim Wakefield vs. Javier Vasquez
The Sox split 2 out of 4 against the annoying Orioles at Fenway this week, with both
wins walkoff, then Ortiz falling about 5 feet short of a 3rd walkoff win. Last night
the Sox dropped one to the Yankees, as they took a 4-3 lead into the 8th and left Pedro
out there. The talk shows hammered Francona for not completely using his bullpen the
night before, allowing Kim to give up two tack on runs in his first appearance in the
majors in a long time. Then they hammered him again for leaving Pedro in just like game
Tonight Wakefield was serviceable as he got them into the 7th with a 5-5 tie. Francona
got himself thrown out as he argued the tying run coming in on a fan interference call,
still livid over two blown calls the night before. With the game up to the bullpens,
the Sox took advantage of no Gordon (two innings the night before) and no Rivera (tie
game on the road Torre doesn't use him). The Sox batter Quantrill and a couple lesser
relievers for 7 runs in the 8th to win easily, 12-5.
The magic number for wild card is now 3 as they hold a 6 game lead over both Anaheim and
Texas. The Sox have a remote chance for the division still. It comes down to clinching
the wild card sooner rather than later, and setting up the pitching for the playoffs,
which could be Minnesota or the west winner which is wild right now as all 3 teams are
separated by just 2 games.