OUT AT SAFECO
It was the top of the eighth inning that convinced me that the Boston Red Sox were not going to win this game. Youkilis was on second base, in scoring position, with only one out. Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek were due up, and I thought to myself that this was "do or die" time. Stop making every Mariners pitcher look like a cross between Cy Young and a young Bob Gibson, when he was literally unhittable. But two fly ball outs dashed those brief hopes. Daisuke retired the side in the bottom of the eighth, but the Sox could not score in the top of the ninth, and then the Darkman came in for the bottom half of the inning. He was able to record only one out while giving up two base hits. Paps to the rescue! And he was brilliant.....17 pitches in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. But his mates couldn't push across a single run, and when it came time for the bottom of the eleventh and out limped Joel Piniero, fresh from an ankle injury, I knew that Tito had given up on this game. Was the bullpen devoid of any pitcher with two sound legs? The rest of the story? We all know. Another loss at Safeco Field and a somber trip back to Boston.
On the bright side, two things. Daisuke Matsuzaka's performance was first rate. He went eight innings, giving up only one run on 3 little hits, while striking out 8. Why we can't score runs for the guy is way beyond me. But if he continues to pitch the way he has, the wins will pile up for him and his club. OUR CLUB. The second bright thing from yesterday was the 4-0 Oriole's victory over the Clemens-led Yankees. Great job Baltimore. A three game sweep over the hated pinstipers. NICE! (hey Faithy, your Baltimore club was so clutch! We love your comments here! Keep 'em coming!!!))
Up next is an off day today. And that's a good thing. Let the guys get accustomed to the eastern time zone once again. And then the pitching poor Texas Rangers come to town. Home cooking and Fenway Park should help us get back on track. We have to hope.
Click on the title of this post for the latest news on Curt Schilling, who we won't see until after the All Star break, and Brendan Donnelly, who had to cut short a throwing session yesterday. Is Schilling's extended stay on the D/L a good thing? A bad thing? Only time will tell. So click on the title, and have a wonderful Thursday.