Daisuke Shuts Down The Giants
It was all Daisuke Matsuzaka for seven stellar innings Saturday afternoon in a nationally televised game between the Boston Red Sox and the San Francisco Treats........err......Giants, and the Red Sox emerged victorious, 1-0. Manny Ramirez provided the game's only run with a 4th inning home run, and that was all Daisuke needed. Although a couple more Sox runs would have made this viewer, this fan, a lot more comfortable.Things got a little "iffy" in the 8th inning as the Darkman, Hideki Okajima, entered the game and allowed the first two hitters to reach base. But a visit to the mound by his pitching coach John Farrell seemed to do wonders. First and second, no outs, and you-know-who at the plate. Read this, from the Courant.........
"Hideki Okajima was in trouble, big trouble, and he knew it.
Starting the eighth inning in relief of Daisuke Matsuzaka and asked to protect a one-run lead, Okajima allowed the first two men to reach, then promptly fell behind 2-and-0 to the next hitter, Barry Bonds.
Pitching coach John Farrell rushed to the mound, giving Okajima a moment to assess his predicament.
"I was excited too much," Okajima said through an interpreter. "I tried to do too much. I said to myself, `I'm sorry Daisuke. We've have two runners on the bases. I'm sorry.'"
Farrell told Okajima to challenge Bonds. Three pitches later, Okajima had nothing to apologize for. Three called strikes later, Bonds was walking, head down, back to the dugout."
Peter here, and that 8th inning was the height of a sense of upcoming doom. But the Darkman retired the next 2 batters harmlessly and then Jonathon Papelbon threw an 11 pitch ninth for the save, and all was rosy once again in Red Sox Nation. But lately it seems to be either feast or famine with the Sox offense, with the emphasis on famine, although the Giants' pitcher Matt Cain did indeed look good. That has to change.
This afternoon it will be Timmy Wakefield, trying to build further on his wonderful start 6 days ago. And again the Sox try to go 20 games over the .500 mark. Is this, the third time, the charm? I hope so. I certainly hope so.
Click on the title of this post for more on the game, from the Herald of Boston, the Hub of the universe. Enjoy your Sunday!