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Posts Tagged ‘Beijing’

Last night was exactly what Girardi didn’t want and exactly what the Red Sox, Terry Francona, the front office, and Red Sox Nation did want.  AJ Burnett was horrible.  I hope the Yankees enjoy four and a half more years of his mediocrity.  His delivery was too fast, he looked like he was in a rush, and to be completely frank it looked like he let go of the ball and had no idea where it was going.  His ball-to-strike ratio was about fifty percent.  He threw more balls than strikes.  And he’s delusional if he thinks he’d ever be able to get away with that in Fenway Park.  He only lasted 2.2 innings, and with New York’s bullpen as bad as it is and Chien-Ming Wang throwing tomorrow, that’s the time to ask if it could possibly get worse.  Oh, wait.  It did.  During that time we scored five runs, three of them earned (thank you, A-Roid and Posada; so much for the Yankees’ errorless streak, which stopped at eighteen).  After that they had to use three pitchers: Brett Tomko, who gave up another run, Jose Veras, who gave up another run, and David Robertson, who was the only one to not allow any runs.

Let’s compare that to our pitching, shall we? Josh Beckett started.  And dominated.  And won.  He one-hit the Yankees through six and no-hit them into the fourth.  To be frank, yes, I was thinking no-hitter.  But then the bid was broken up by Robinson Cano, who hit a line drive on the ground to the left of Youk.  Pedroia ran that down beautifully and caught the ball but couldn’t make the throw.  So you could make the argument that Beckett had back-to-back bids.  Scary.  Two walks, eight strikeouts, no runs.  He’s won all of his last five decisions.  Delcarmen, Ramirez, and Bard held the fort in a similar fashion. Since May 10 and heading into last night, our bullpen had an ERA of 1.84.  I don’t even want to think about how low it is now.  The final score was 7-0.  A shutout in which New York had absolutely no chance.  I love it.  It was fantastic.  One other thing: Boston pitching gave up four walks.  Four.  New York pitching gave up seven.  We’re second in the American League in walks.  Not a good combination for New York.  So that’s pretty much the compare and contrast.  Speaks for itself, no?

As for the offense, we can compare and contrast that too.  It was a shutout, so offense for the Yanks was nonexistant.  We, however, were a different story.  Pedroia went hitless but walked.  Drew hit a nice two-run double.  Youk went two for four, walked, and scored.  Bay hit, walked, and took a pitch in the ribs.  Ouch.  I don’t know how Bay likes his ribs, but I’m sure he doesn’t like them bruised and sore.  Lowell hit, walked twice, scored, and batted in two.  Tek walked and scored.  And now we get to the fun part.  David Ortiz.  Always been a Yankee killer.  And you’d think his slump would affect that.  Not so, my friends, not so.  In his first at-bat of the game, he hit his third home run of the year.  Huge.  Two-run shot with Lowell on base after walking.  And this was the best and most powerfully hit of the three.  It sailed right into the center field bleachers, a few feet from the center field wall.  No “inches from the pole” or “inches from the field.” This was out by a good margin.  The problems causing the slump do not include bat speed.  Ortiz has plenty of bat speed.  He’s just setting up late.  But there was no lateness on that swing.  None whatsoever.  So he’s showing progress.  And against the Yankees.  Awesome.  Nick Green followed that with a home run of his own.  A solo shot in the seventh for our last run of the game.  Youk stole, and Lowell got caught by a mile.

The draft started yesterday, and with their first overall pick the Nationals selected Stephen Strasburg, a right-handed pitcher from San Diego State University.  His fastball reaches 103 miles per hour.  I don’t even want to know what that looks like.  And his breaking ball is very sharp.  Tossed a no-hitter in his last home start and played for the U.S. in the Olympics in Beijing.  Congratulations, kid! You were passed over in high school but went to college, stuck with it, wanted that Number One selection, and got it.  We look forward to seeing you pitch in the Majors, as long as you don’t pitch against us if you’re good.  We drafted twenty-eighth, and we selected Reymond Fuentes, an outfielder from Fernando Callejo High School in Puerto Rico.  He’s mostly played center field, is very quick, and has a very healthy swing.  He’s actually Carlos Beltran’s cousin.  I agree with that; I think Theo and scouting director Jason McLeod chose wisely.  We could use another bat in the lineup, and a solid outfielder is always helpful.  We already know Theo is a baseball genius; I’m sure in some years down the road we’ll see this choice come through.  Before the day was done, we also drafted pitcher Alex Wilson and shortstop-pitcher David Renfoe.  Not bad.

So we take game one of the three-game set, tying us with New York in first place.  Wakefield is pitching tonight and has the advantage of the contrast between Beckett’s fastball and his knuckleball.  He’s pitching against Wang, as I said, who’ll be making his second start since coming off the DL.  Needless to say, I think I speak for all of Red Sox Nation when I say we’re looking forward to this one.  Joe Girardi went on record on Mondays saying that this series, despite being early in the season, is crucial and that the Yankees have to take at least two out of three to prove to us that they’re better.  Yeah, right.  Since last year, we’ve won seven straight against the Yankees.  And that streak isn’t going to end with Chien-Ming Wang.

Surviving Grady
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