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Friday, July 9, 2010

The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades*

My body is still on CA time, so I'm still goin' to bed late and gettin' up late, but hey, I'm on permanent vacation, so why not? Got a late start to the day and didn't get back to the homestead until about the 5th inning and by that time, the game was already over. Lester had a no hitter going into the 4th inning when Jays catcher John Buck singled with 2 outs. Lester promptly ended the inning when the next batter, Aaron Hill lined out to SS Bill Hall.

Wait a minute... Bill Hall? Yes, Bill Hall, jack of many trades. Not only does he play CF, LF, and 2B, he plays SS and 3B, taboot. Nick Swisher ain't got nuttin' on him! Well maybe a little bit, but Bill Hall has provided much help at many different positions given the ever expanding Red Sox DL. (Does he pitch, too?) UPDATE: Yes, he does pitch. He pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning back in May.

Lester went 6 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. He now has 11 wins this season against 3 losses, with a 2.77 ERA. Robert Manuel, a recent call up from Pawtucket, pitched 2 innings, giving up 1 run on 2 hits and 1 walk. His ERA with Boston has dropped from 18.00 after his 1st game with Boston to 7.71 after his 3rd game in the big leagues. Dustin Richardson, yet another recent call up from Pawtucket, finished up with a scoreless 9th inning. His ERA now stands at a very nice 1.93 after his 9th game with Boston.

Now, about the offense. With all the injuries and slumps the Red Sox have endured, damn near the whole starting line up, who would have expected them to score 13 runs in the 1st 4 innings? The Sox chased Ricky Romero out of the game after 2.1 innings. He surrendered 9 runs, 5 earned, when Brian Tallet came in to relieve him. He then gift wrapped 4 more runs in his 1 inning of relief. Exit Tallet, enter Casey Jannsen and yet another run for the Sox.

The oddest play of the game occured in the 6th inning. Mike Cameron hits a 2 out single. Bill Hall hits a double down the right field line. Cameron had no intention of trying to score on that play as the Sox were sitting on a fat 14 run lead. The hit was ruled a ground rule double on fan interference. The umpires then awarded Cameron the home plate and the 15th Sox run. Jannsen argued the umpires decision and was ejected from the game. Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston came out, the umpires discussed the ruling and put Cameron back on 3rd base. (Now could someone please tell me why that didn't happen on the blown call on what should have been the last out of Galarraga's perfect game last month?)

While Big Papi went 0/4, he was issued 2 free passes, while the shift has been utilized by opposing teams. He is once again a feared hitter. Tampa Bay lost today, while the Yankees are clinging to a 2 run lead out in Seattle as of this posting, leaving the Sox currently 4.5 GB the Yanks, and 2 runs behind the Rays.

In any other division, Toronto could be a contender, so this qualifies as a very satisfactory win and a big morale booster for the Red Sox after losing their previous 4 games.

Two games remain before the All Star break and much needed rest. Josh Beckett will pitch a rehab start on Sunday in Pawtucket. I tried for a press pass for that game before Beckett's PawSox start was announced, but still got shut out, so I am settling for the Pawtucket-Rochester game I worked yesterday, and the Futures at Fenway double header tomorrow. The Futures at Fenway double header will mark my 3rd and 4th games reporting from the press box, my first 2 at Fenway following 2 in Pawtucket.

Ya gotta admit, these guys wearing Red Sox unis may be quite unfamiliar to most Red Sox fans, but they sure playing there hearts out. Rather than fold, they are showing a determined resolve not to let this team sink into oblivion. Lesser teams would have thrown in the towel by now.

Be looking for Michael Bowden to make a return trip to the major leagues soon, as he has been tearing up opponents in his last several starts. Pawtucket was instructed to move him to the bullpen in anticipation of being needed in the Boston bullpen soon. I had a chance to speak to him after yesterday's game in which he did not pitch. He has been adjusting his mind set from that of a once every 5 days pitcher, to that of a topnotch reliever making appearances in games more often. Papelbon did it, could he soon be following behind Pap and Bard? He certainly seems anxious to be moved into that role.

With all these call ups and recent no-name acquisitions playing well, 'The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.'*

*Timbuk 3, 1986

Sox 14 Jays 3 BOX SCORE

Fenway West 07.09.10

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