Hinske Halfway Heaven
The Red Sox broke out of their prolonged hitting slump, at least for a night but hopefully for far longer than that, and defeated the Texas Rangers 7-3, earning a split of the 4 game series. Kason Gabbard pitched hitless ball for 5 1/3 innings before allowing a three run home run off the bat of Brad Wilkerson. The bullpen was its usual effective self, with Timlin, Lopez, Snyder and the Darkman, Hideki Okajima (see more on the Darkman below) pitching scoreless ball. But the big blow was a 5th inning three run home run off the bat of game hero Eric Hinske. Crooked numbers in the third and fifth innings. It's about time! Said Tito, and this is from the Courant......
"He's about as professional as you get," manager Terry Francona said. "When Hinske does something, the dugout erupts. We'll take offense anywhere we can get it. Any time you put up crooked numbers and the middle of your order doesn't do it, that's a big lift for your ballclub."
The victory raised the Red Sox record to 50-31 at the halfway point of the season. Their 10 1/2-game lead over Toronto in the American League East is their largest ever after 81 games since baseball went to a 162-game season in 1962.*
Peter here. And at the exact halfway point of the season, we have to feel good about that record and those stats, but there are six games left before the All Star break, and I want to win them all. Those low run scoring losses by the club still weigh heavily on my soul. But for now, after a nice win, everything is rosy.
It's Daisuke Matsuzaka tonight at Fenway, and he'll face another club's ace, the always tough lefthander Scott Kazmir. Lefties always give the Sox trouble.....Kazmir has the stuff to do it every time.
I wanted to remind my readers to vote for our Darkman, Hideki Okajima, as he tries to become a member of the All Star team. After his perfection in the ninth inning last night, his ERA is down to a microscopic miniscule 0.88. So please, click on the title of this very post and make Hideki Okajima our All Star Darkman. The whole league knows he deserves it. So vote. Vote as many times as you wish. I've already lost count how many times I have. Go ahead, click on that title, and thanks. Even if you voted yesterday, DO IT AGAIN! Have a great Tuesday, the Fourth of July eve. NOW CLICK ON THE TITLE AND VOTE! My fellow blogger and friend Ian, of the great blog "Sox and Dawgs" (link on my link list, on your right), said this, in a comment yesterday......
"Voting is over at 6 pm on Thursday and should be announced that night or in the morning.
Okajima is trailing only Jeremy Bonderman right now, so keep voting, people. Just keep voting until your fingers hurt. I've already voted a 100x today."
Thanks Ian.....as Ringo Starr said after doing the drum line on Paul McCartney's HELTER SKELTER, from the White Album, "I've got blisters on me fingers!" I want them on yours, wearing out those fingers voting for Hideki. Now we know that we have Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until 6pm. Please vote. Vote for our reliever, our Hideki, who is simply the best left-handed reliever in all of baseball. Click on the title. Thank you Ian. And go Sox, our Sox....forever. THE DARKMAN LIVES....on the All Star team. With our help. So click, click on the title, and I thank you, faithful readers. I really do........