Posts Tagged ‘Damaso Marte’

Now that’s what I call a win! If I had to choose a way to beat the Skankees in our first showdown of the season, I’d go with either a slugfest or a walkoff.  And that, my friends, was most definitely a walkoff.  And have you ever notice the walkoffs come when you least expect them? You least expect them when you most need them, and somehow we slug it out.  But that’s the Red Sox for you.  We wrote the book on walkoffs.  I’m telling you, I’m still celebrating.  I saw it with my own eyes and couldn’t believe it.  Could not believe it.  Not that I was surprised, I mean we’re obviously capable, but wins like that just never get old.  Don’t believe me? Watch some footage from the 2004 ALCS and see how you feel.  And the fact that last night was a repeat performance of that series in so many ways just made the victory that much sweeter.

So Lester was awesome.  Fantastic start.  Six innings, two runs on seven hits, three walks and seven strikeouts.  I’m telling you, in his last few counts his strikeouts have been going through the roof.  His career high is ten in a game, and he’s almost equaled that in his last two outings.  Then Okajima came on and allowed two runs on four hits without recording an out.  His spottiness is really starting to bother me.  Our bullpen is so deep it’s not even funny, and obviously we need to give our key guys a rest so that they stay our key guys, but when the game is tied, why bring on a spotty reliever? Anyway, he gave the Yanks the lead, 4-2, at that point, and made way for Delcarmen, Saito, Lopez, and Papelbon, who each pitched an inning.

At that point, the game was tied.  We’d scored a run in the first, a run in the sixth to tie it the first time, and then in the bottom of the ninth, with a man on and two out, Jason Bay steps up to the plate.  Mariano Rivera was on the mound, and all of a sudden I felt an overwhelming sense of deja-vu.  Jay Bay cranked one seriously well-hit ball into the center field stands and tied it up.  When that 1-0 cutter left Rivera’s hand I knew something big was going to happen.  Seriously.  Sometimes you just know.  It was the first time we’ve had the game-tying homer in the ninth and then the walkoff in later innings.  Which brings me to the grand finale.  The bottom of the eleventh, with nobody on and one out, Kevin Youkilis steps up to the plate.  Damaso Marte on the mound.  And that fastball cleared Fenway completely.  Over the infield.  Over the outfield.  Over the Green Monster.  Over the billboards.  And down into Lansdowne Street.  It never stood a chance.  I was watching these and I was doing the Carlton Fisk home run wave and everything.  It was insane.  It was spectacular.  It was ridiculous.  And it was against the Yankees in Fenway Park.  I need a moment.

And it wasn’t just the home runs.  The bats were on.  Ellsbury went two for six with a steal, Youk would finish perfect at the plate, Bay went three for five, Lowell went two for five, and Green went two for four with an RBI.

I’d like to extend a special welcome on behalf of Red Sox Nation to Mr. Leigh Teixeira.  My people and I hope you’ve enjoyed your first loss at Fenway Park.  We suggest you get comfortable with that experience, because it’s something you’ll be enjoying for a long, long time.

By the way, we reacquired Kason Gabbard from the Rangers.

Ramon Ramirez pitched the eleventh and got the win, and with that 5-4 victory we extend our winning streak to eight games! And we take on the Yankees again this afternoon.  It’ll be Burnett at Beckett, and you don’t even want to know how psyched I am.  I mean we could potentially sweep New York in our first series of the year.  It’s a legitimate possibility.  And how sweep would that be.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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Again with the close calls; sheesh! I see the Red Sox play the Rays, and I know they’re better than that, and Red Sox Nation knows they’re better than that, but it looks like they themselves don’t know they’re better than that. It’s been said that 2008’s Sox are better than 2007’s. Our winning percentage reflects that, as we’re more or less on par with our winning percentage this time last year. But we need to adjust. If we have to step it up in ’08 to achieve dominance, then we’d better, and now is the time to do it. After last night’s loss, and another close one at that, we’re 2.5 games out of first. We can get it back, no doubt, but it would still be nice to give the Rays a sound Boston beating.

Wakefield was his usual self at the Trop, pitching seven innings and allowing one earned run on five hits, walking three and striking out four. Hansen allowed the third run, and Delcarmen was perfect. So all in all, the usual solid effort from Boston pitching. Too bad the offense didn’t do much to help the cause. Drew batted Ellsbury in from third for the one Boston run. How did he end up at third? It’s actually a very funny story. Ellsbury tapped the ball to the infield, Navarro picked it up and threw high to first base. The ball rolled all the way to the backstop, and before Tampa Bay knew what was up Ellsbury was at third. Drew with the sac fly. On the bright side, the run was scored in true Boston dirt dog fashion. Both Tampa Bay and Boston had six hits. The Rays committed three errors, while the Red Sox only committed one, and Lugo had nothing to do with it. No, seriously.

Red Sox Nation does have something to celebrate, though. The Yankees are now 7.5 games out! They just keep burying themselves in their own weaknesses. This is something that will make me realize that no matter what happens, we’ll never be as bad as the Yankees. It’s great, isn’t it?

Hideki Okajima could be on the block. Last season, he posted an impressive 2.22 ERA over 66 relief appearances with five saves. This season, he’s posting a 3.15 ERA over 34 relief appearances while converting only one of seven save opportunities. He blew the other six. Brian Fuentes of the Rockies, Joe Borowski of the Indians, and George Sherrill and Chad Bradford of the Orioles are possibilities. Less likely but still possible are Scott Schoeneweis of the Mets, Kevin Gregg of the Marlins, and Damaso Marte of the Pirates. At first, when I heard that Okie might be traded I thought it was too rash of an action. But let’s look at the facts: we’re almost halfway through the season, Okajima’s had plenty of rest, and he hasn’t shown any improvement. It’s becoming more likely by the blown save that last year’s phenomenal performance was a fluke. Because the Red Sox are currently teetering on the brink of domination right now, it could potentially become urgent that we get ourselves a reliable set-up man. But the front office should also be wary of another Eric Gagne debacle, because that was a total and complete disaster. We might also be looking to add a fifth starter, possibly the likes of CC Sabathia (the dude who basically stole Josh Beckett’s Cy Young), Roy Oswalt, or Rich Harden. All you can do is trust in Theo. He’s a genius, no question. Sometimes he makes mistakes, like the Gagne debacle, but you have to hope that he’ll learn from that and maybe put that extra bit of consideration into what would be worse, having an inconsistent and unreliable set-up man that rocked ’07 or having an inconsistent and unreliable new guy.

Jacoby Ellsbury, 7/1/2008

AP Photo

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