I hate it when Clay Buchholz pitches. Hate it. It makes me very, very nervous. He looked good, though, which was a welcome and pleasant surprise. He looked leaps and bounds better than his first start coming out of the break, he had a lot more control. It was good.
Then we have the bullpen…as a Red Sox fan, especially this season, we are trained to say a Hail Mary and pray frantically when Tito pulls in Delcarmen, Hansen, Okajima or Timlin. Its always iffy. Masterson…I haven’t seen in anything but a start. We got to see almost all of them last night, and let me tell you, I actually dare to hope. Masterson was lights-out. Absolutely fabulous. Delcarmen: solid. Okajima: solid. Paps…came on in relief, and I got worried when he had guys on the corners. But Mikey and Dustin came through to get the double play. (in a side note, why is Dustin Pedroia’s nickname Petey?) Speaking of Paps, what was with that dribbler? I’m not sure Paps would have handled that even if he was using his glove. That thing was possesed.
Then the top of the 12th…Ellsubry got his firt hit of the night (what a clutch hit!). Pedroia grounded out but Wheels got to 2nd, JD took a walk, and Youk got a lucky (but also good) hit. Mikey came through in the clutch with a two-run single, and Casey added to it with an RBI single. And all of Boston started to breathe again. Hansen pulled out a strong save, despite starting a little shakey, and the Sox completed the sweep of the Mariners.
So now the Sox head home on a day of rest before they take on the Yanks. And here’s the best news I’ll day: (note, if the Rays loose tonight, it will be tied as the best news) Papi is back in the line-up and ready to swing. Yay!
So some interesting things come out of the West Coast swing: the bull-pen looks much better. Its still not great, but it is no longer my greatest fear. Manny is being Manny. This is what he does in July. Go back every year and Manny is just like this, every July. The trade deadline will pass, it will become August and September, and the slugger will be back in form and back to loving being in Boston. I think its some kind of seasonal disorder. Mikey seems to be out of his mini slump, Jacoby can get back deeper in the order when Papi comes back, which will probably help get him out of his slump, Dustin is still on a hitting tear, JD Drew is hitting into fewer double plays, and Tek has a three game hitting streak. That’s right. The Captain may still be struggling with the stick, but he’s looking better all the time. Clay B. picked a batter off…man is he fast. Next up: Skankees. But we’re at the Fens, so all is well.
Bring on the Bombers.