Posts Tagged ‘Jayson Nix’

All in all, that was a very strange game.  How we came out of it with only one error is completely beyond me, because we displayed just about every blooper you could possibly imagine.  It was a full nine innings of weirdness, let me tell you, but if we win I don’t care how weird it is.  It’s the third win in four days.  Keep ’em coming.

Basically, heading into the eighth inning, we were tied at three.  Jon Lester had exited with two outs in the seventh and gave up three runs on four hits with two walks, six K’s, and a long ball by Jayson Nix to lead off the third.  And he was just about to record that final out, with two men on and an 0-2 count on Alexei Ramirez, when his curveball bounced off Tek and one of the runners scored.  Then Nix struck again, literally and figuratively, as he hit a line drive that hit Lowell’s glove and that batted in their third run.  Even with those two runs, Lester delivered his eighteenth quality start of the season, putting him ahead of Josh Beckett and in the lead of the entire pitching staff.  So he may have gotten a no-decision, but at least he didn’t lose (Delcarmen got the win, and Paps got the save, which was completely clean.  Sixteen pitches in the inning, thirteen of them strikes, a hit but no walks and two K’s.).

It didn’t end there.  In the top of the eighth, Carlos Quentin popped up just behind the mound, and despite Okajima’s best efforts at a catch, the ball landed behind him.  Later in the frame, V-Mart botched the routine throw back to the mound, and the ball ended up in center field, moving Quentin to second.  Paul Konerko singled to put runners at the corners, Jermaine Dye popped to short, AJ Pierzynski struck out, and that was the end of the night for Okajima.  Delcarmen came in and got Alex Rios to pop to second to end the top half of the inning.

In the bottom of the inning, the game was pretty much over.  We scored three runs and basically won it, 6-3, right then and there.  Jason Bay hit a solo shot with one out.  His twenty-eighth of the season, and what a blast it was.  Probably one of his most important home runs of the year.  Definitely one of his farthest.  It didn’t even touch the Monster.  Huge.  And hit with two strikes, too.  After that the White Sox had no chance.  Period.  End of story.

Other RBIs came courtesy of Youk, Pedroia, Martinez (perfect at the plate, going two for two with a double and two RBIs), and Jacoby Ellsbury, who went three for five with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base, thereby officially leading the franchise in single-season stolen bases! Congratulations, kid.  Can’t say I didn’t see it coming.

Turns out that Billy Wagner will, in fact, be pitching in Boston.  He ended up waiving his no-trade clause to win a World Series.  And you hear something like that and it makes you marvel at how far we’ve come.  Until about five years ago we were a temporary stop, not a destination, for baseball’s best, because the expectation was obviously that a World Series wasn’t coming to Boston any time soon.  How the tables have turned.  We’ve come so far from that it’s ridiculous, and I have to say it feels pretty good.  Papelbon is psyched, by the way.  If you take his comments literally, what he said was simply that the bullpen has clearly defined roles and he just wasn’t sure how Wagner’s role would fit in from a purely organizational standpoint.  But he’s psyched.  And if Wagner works out, that would be one seriously formidable one-two punch.

Wakfield returns to the mound tonight opposite Gavin Floyd, but this game is important for reasons other than Wakefield’s return and its status as a must-win (as is basically every game from this point on).  It’s important because Victor Martinez is catching.  He’s been practicing with a pitching machine rigged to throw knuckleballs and was even using in on our last road trip.  This game, with its relatively low-pressure opponent, will be a good introductory diagnostic of V-Mart’s abilities in that vein.  On the bright side, when it comes to catching knuckleballs, he couldn’t possibly be worse than Tek.

AP Photo

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