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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Redding’

That was Beckett’s best start.   Period.  Easily his best outing of 2009.  Even better than Opening Day.  He pitched a full eight innings, gave up zero earned runs on five hits (the unearned run was his own fault; he messed up a pickoff attempt), walked only one and struck out five.  That’s the Josh Beckett we were waiting for.  That’s the Josh Beckett who went who knows where between Opening Day and his last two starts.  And that’s the Josh Beckett who’s returned.  I think at this point it’s safe to say that, ladies and gentlemen, Josh Beckett has finally arrived! He is back, and he is back with a vengeance.

With that said, I don’t think I can adequately express how furious I am with our closer.  Seriously.  I don’t think it’s within my power to do so.  We’re leading, 2-1, into the ninth inning.  Paps comes in to close it out, to be his usual lights-out self and get a win for Beckett and a save for himself.  Right? Not so much.  That’s what he was supposed to do, but instead he decided it would be fun to let Omir Santos hit a two-run shot; Gary Sheffield was already on first base.  But it wasn’t that simple.  The ball hit the top of the Monster, that ledge above the red metal grate, and bounced back onto the field.  Santos actually stopped at second, while Sheffield stopped at third.  Crew chief Joe West actually had to use the new instant replay to review it.  So he went into this room behind our dugout, with a monitor and a telephone connected with Major League Baseball Advanced Media Headquarters in New York.  He looked at three different angles and reversed the call.  Two-run shot.  So we lost, 3-2.  Paps gets a blown save and the loss.  And rightly so.  But if you told me this was how the game would end, I wouldn’t have been able to stop laughing or take you seriously.  Jonathan Papelbon? Give up a game-winning homer in the ninth? Impossible.  He’d just struck out two guys, there were two outs in the inning, there was no way.  Just no way.  But apparently not.  Apparently it’s possible, and apparently it happens.  I mean, what are the odds.  Really.  What are the odds Paps would rack up a blown save and a loss via the long ball in the ninth inning.  All in a single game.  I’m pretty sure that just does not happen.  Well.  Until last night.  And Jonathan Papelbon was feeling it; he’s one of the biggest competitors on the team, and that’s what you want from your closer, and after the call was reversed he just hung his head.  Ouch.

Youk batted in both of our runs.  Ellsbury again extended his hitting streak, batting .298 now so still right on that cusp.  He also stole third.  Successfully.  And when you watch Ellsbury work on the basepaths, it’s textbook.  He is without a doubt one of the best, if not the best, base-stealer in Major League Baseball right now.  His technique alone is just top-notch.  Pedroia went two for four with a run and a steal of second and is quietly batting a nice .327.  I’m telling you, very quietly he’s just been hot lately.  And he loves Interleague too.  Last night was his seventh consecutive multi-hit Interleague game.  That ties our club record, set by Troy O’Leary in 1998, and he’s one short of the Major League record of eight, set by A-Rod in 1998.  Man, I’d love to see him break that one.  Pedroia started the season with a .400 average in Interleague play.  That’s the best all-time for at least a hundred at-bats.  And after these two games with the Mets, that .400 average is now .406, and we all know who comes to mind when you mention .406.

So that was one infuriating loss that should’ve been a win.  Luckily, Toronto lost again, so we’re still only half a game back.  Unluckily, we’re now tied with the Yankees for second place, and the Rays shortened their deficit to three and a half games out of first.  So we’ve got some work to do.  It’s only a half-game lead they’ve got; we should be able to overtake that overnight.  Tonight would be nice.  We’re throwing Wakefield against Tim Redding.  Ordinarily, that would be a pretty even matchup but if Wake pitches anything like he has been over the course of the season, it’ll be like throwing an ace up there, and hopefully the Mets will have no chance.  Which is what should’ve happened these past two nights, and in a way it did except for some weird twists of fate.  Whatever.  Let’s just get it done tonight.

A Nation of One
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