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Posts Tagged ‘Ramon Hernandez’

Now that is what I call a blowout.  Firing on all cylinders.  Demolishing the competition right out of the gate.  Basically the 2007 season crunched into nine innings.  Even though we were missing some key guys, including Kevin Youkilis who winced during warm-up sprints and wasn’t in the lineup due to back spasms, we still pulled it off, and with flying colors.  That has to be reassuring for a team that’s been as injury-ridden as ours: look at how formidable we are even when we’re not 100%, and imagine how formidable we are when we are 100%.  If I were the opposition I’d be afraid.  I’d be very afraid.

Lester got the win, pitching five and giving up a run on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts.  He’s never lost to the Orioles in his career, and he improves to an impressive 13-5.  In the early innings he actually cranked his fastball up to 96, 97 mph.  Manny Delcarmen and Chris Smith were in top form for the sixth and seventh, and despite allowing a run in the ninth David Pauley did a decent job.  You know you’re in good shape when the relief is strong.  That means your starters are going deep and that you’ve had a good amount of big leads.

And now for the offense.  One RBI each for Kotsay, Ellsbury, and Van Every, the first Major League RBI of his career.  Kotsay went two for four, and Ellsbury stole his 44th base of the season.  Two RBIs for Lowrie, who was pretty busy at third base.  It’s so nice to watch him work the leather over there; it’s pretty refreshing to see a baseball headed to that part of the diamond and know that someone’s going to be there to make the play almost every time.  Four RBIs for Ortiz, who didn’t strike out all night.  He went three for three with a walk and two runs.  Now that is good old-fashioned Papi-style baseball.  Crisp went three for five with a steal, and Varitek went two for four with good blockage of the plate to get Hernandez out at home.  The bottom half of the lineup is really stepping up, and I think that’s part of why the top half of the lineup is doing so well.  It eases the pressure.

Last but certainly not least, five (count ’em: five!) runs batted in for that fixture at second base, that shoe-in for Most Valuable Player, Dustin Pedroia.  The man went three for five with a run.  One of those hits was a monstrous home run he absolutely crushed out of the park in the fourth with one man out and two men on base.  Did not strike out once all night.  Not once.  His batting average is now .330.  After a whole season of ups and downs, varying lineups, issues on the road, and so many other details, Pedroia is batting .330 in September.  That average is so high you’d look at it and write it off as some rookie who just got called up and started to hit.  And don’t even get me started on how good the man is in the field.  He’s got MVP written all of him.

So all in all that makes for a four-run third, a six-run fourth, a one-run fifth, a two-run seventh, and a one-run eighth.  Not bad for a blowout.  Not bad at all.

In another strange turn of events, we were all rooting for the Yanks last night and it paid off.  The Rays lost by five runs, decreasing their lead over us to four games.  I see no room for error on the Rays’ part, because if they give us an inch we’ll walk all over them.  Needless to say, the upcoming series with them at Fenway is going to be crucial.

AP Photo

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