Posts Tagged ‘Lyle Overbay’

It was a duel after all.  That’s not surprising, considering who the starters were.  In fact, another Cy Young might be coming Halladay’s way this year.  But in the end, Lester won out.  He pitched eight outstanding innings, allowing one run on four hits, walking two, and fanning six.  The one run came courtesy of Jose Bautista’s solo shot in the first inning.  After that, nothing.  At least not on Lester’s watch.  It was Papelbon who scared everybody, and even scarier is that he’s been doing it a lot lately.  In the ninth inning he allowed two runs on three hits to record one of the sloppiest saves of his career.  According to him, he needs to work on his fastball command and he’s pitched four times in the last six days.  Whatever change needs to take place has to happen fast.  If he needs more work to sort out his fastball, commit to using him as often as possible.  If he needs rest, give him rest and use a trusty reliever for the ninth.  That’s even more doable this days since Devern Hansack’s been called up.  I don’t know if giving Pap a long rest and then suddenly making him work frequently was the best course of action, but time will tell.  One thing’s for sure.  We can’t have him saving games like this, especially not in St. Petersburg and especially not in October.  I mean, you call that a save? What’s in a save? That save in any other game could be a loss.  Plain and simple.

Luckily the offense was in top form, or as best as you could possibly be with Halladay on the mound.  RBIs for Ortiz and Youkilis and two for Crisp.  Ortiz’s only hit of the afternoon was an extra-base hit he legged into a triple.  I mean he was hustling.  And you don’t see Big Papi hustle like that very often.  And as for Crisp, he’s still on fire.  It’s incredible.  He’s batted .452 over his last ten games.  This month alone is a better indication of what he’s capable of than his past two years in a Red Sox uniform.  He was the only member of the lineup to have a multi-hit game; he went two for three without striking out.  Pedroia was held hitless.  Ellsbury stole second and now has 48 on the season.  Bay racked up an outstanding outfield assist.  He threw Lyle Overbay out at second, and Overbay was livid.  But such is the defense of Jason Bay.

In other news, Julio Lugo is feeling better and will be traveling with the team on this road trip, but I’d be very surprised if he sees much playing time at all for the rest of the season and in October.  Jed Lowrie outplays him on both fronts, offense and defense, and he adds some spark to the bottom half of the lineup.  As I’ve said many times, a lineup that’s top-heavy won’t do well in October.  Don’t believe me? Look at Games 2 through 4 of the 2007 ALCS.  Matt Cassel and the Pats won yesterday and continue their dominance over the Jets.  And Cassel held his own.  Always a good thing to see when your starting quarterback is out for the season.

Anyway, even though the save needed a lot of work, a win is a win is a win, and that was definitely a win.  Our 4-3 victory puts us only a game behind the Rays.  Matsuzaka at Kazmir tonight.  Can’t wait.

AP Photo

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