Daisuke NL Domination Continues
It started out alarming, disaster waiting in the wings, just out of sight, during Daisuke Matsuzaka's first inning. He walked the first three men before retiring Mike Cameron. But a single drove in the Padres only run before he retired the final two men of the inning. Catastophe, murder and mayhem, blood and guts averted. And that was the only trouble the man from Japan had all night, as he went 6 innings, giving up that lone run on 5 base hits while striking out 9 (!). And the bullpen continued its fine work, as Lopez and Little Manny Delcarmen combined to pitch the seventh, the Darkman threw an almost automatic 10 pitch 8th (if he's not an All Star selection, it'd be a shame) and Paps hurled a one hit ninth for his 17th save. Daisuke's record is now a great-looking 9-5, and his ERA has lowered to 4.01. He's getting better with every start. Expect more of the same. All season long!
The Padre pitching was good, with Greg Maddux going a strong 6 innings himself. That's why their record is so splendid. But the Sox scored the only two runs they would tally all night in the 4th inning on singles by Peds, Manny, Youk and the Captain, and that was all she wrote. That was all ANYONE wrote! One dark spot? Julio Lugo still looks clueless at the plate. How long will it be before we see Alex Cora starting a few games at shortstop? On the bright side, the Red Sox record moves to baseball's best 47-25, and those are sweet numbers indeed.
It's Wakefield and Young tonight, late. Young has a miniscule ERA of 2.36, only 1.62 over his last three starts. But our Sox find ways to win. That's why we love 'em! Have a great weekend, and don't forget to click on the title of this post for Tony Massarotti's Boston Herald Saturday piece advising Schill to chill......there's no hurry to come back before your shoulder is sound. And that's a compliment to the makeup of this team we love to love. Here's a little more on Schill, from Amalie Benjamin's Globe article....
"While Schilling is eligible to return July 4, the club could keep him out through the All-Star break a week later to give him extra rest.
"I think it's too early to get into timetables," general manager Theo Epstein said. "It's unfortunate. No one wants to see a pitcher on the disabled list. It's an opportunity to get him rest, rehabilitation, and restrengthening, so we can get him in peak condition to have an outstanding second half. There's an argument to be made that all pitchers should get a blow of some sort for optimal performance in the second half when it matters most. That's not commonly done. But with Schill, this might be that opportunity, a blessing in disguise to some extent."
Peter here, and I agree. A rested and shoulder-healthy Schill in the second half would make a dominating team (ours!) even more overwhelming....a scary thought for the other AL teams scrambling to keep pace. Two words to those teams.....WILD CARD!