The Red Sox opened the last series they will ever play at the House That Ruth Built. And they opened it with style.
Wake did more than I expected him to after coming back to the lineup, if you manage to scatter 8 hits over five innings with only three runs scoring means you’re either Dice-K or you’re doing pretty good.
All in all, Wake was solid. Manny, not so much, J-Mas (as we are starting to call him) was the beast of the bull pen that he has become. Can we discuss how perfect it was that both Wake and Masterson got the great and powerful A-Rod to hit into a double play? Wow. Did I mention he was 5-0 tonight? Not good for the #4 spot. Sorry, I can’t resist the chance to poke a little bit of fun at the Yankees. I’m a Sox fan, its in my genes.
A couple of double-plays, a few good hits, and some good base-running later, we had a lead. Always good with the Sox, but with the Sox, doesn’t always mean much. The good news is this, in a game where we won 7-3, our big guys were having a little bit of an off night. We have no Mikey (who was struggling, but you can never count him out), we have no Drew, and Pedroia was a little off his game. That said, Papi had a Yankee-killing night, Bay and Bailey (yay new guy!) had a pair of RBIs each, Youk only had 1 hit, but it was an RBI. And Jacoby, back in the lead-off where he doesn’t do as well (lets face it, he has to grow into that spot) only had one hit, but it was a clutch 2-out RBI.
I can hear the New York fans screaming “Don’t worry about him! Throw the runner out at HOME!” Of course, probably with a few more explitives thrown in. A-Rod fields the ball, throws, but Bailey is too fast, he’s safe, all the Umps are doing that motion that looks like they’re flattening a sheet, you know, really emphatically to get all the wrinkles out, and Giambi isn’t looking. He’s not sure if Bailey is out or not. Of course, it didn’t help that the Sox runners were their faster ones (I love him, but I’m glad it was Coco not Big Papi running those bases)
Finally, lets talk injuries (and no, I don’t mean Brady’s mysterious bone-bruising that will magically disappear in September)
Beckett will be back in the line-up Friday, Mikey is working his way back in, JD wants to be back by the 2nd. Needless to say, once September comes a-knocking, its amazing how many players come off the DL, especially if their team is in or close to being in the post-season. Now, I’m not knocking the players and saying they’re faking it, I’m saying that Lowell will play through hip pain if it can secure him another shot at the World Series, and JD Drew will do everything in his power to make his back feel better in time to get to October. They will push and work hard and get their way through rehab as fast as they can because, hey, its September, where one series can be the difference between going golfing in October or playing on for all the marbles.
I’m gonna say this now, baseball gods, do not be angered, it is not a prediction, merely an observation. If they Yankees do not win this series against the Wild Card Race leading Sox, then their chances at October are looking pretty slim. Merely for the fact that they only go head-to-head with the Sox once more this year, and a 7 or 8 game deficit is hard to make up in one month. Because then not only do you have to win pretty much every game, you have to pray that the Sox will lose games. They both have a similar (and tough) schedule coming up, but the Yanks have some serious road-tripping, while Boston stays mostly at home. All I know is that I hope and pray that the Sox win, the Yankees lose, and if Tampa Bay starts tanking, I wouldn’t mind that much either.