After being up by a score of 8-1, the Boston Red Sox were faced with a none out bases loaded situation in the ninth inning. The score was 8-5 in their favor, and the pitcher was Jonathon Papelbon, who created that awful situation all by himself. This is from the Courant......
"I'm not feeling too good right there," third baseman Mike Lowell said.
The view from the mound wasn't much different.
"I know I've got to throw a strike," Papelbon said. "He's got to swing at it or I've got to paint a pitch."
Papelbon came back to strike out Thome and got Paul Konerko to ground into a double play to preserve an 8-5 victory over the White Sox."
Peter here. Phew! Manny Delcarmen came in to relieve starter and winner Tim Wakefield, but was ineffective. But the Darkman came to the rescue to eradicate the enemy rally. He (Hideki Okajima) put out the seventh inning fire AND set down the White Sox 1-2-3 in the eighth. Said the White Sox manager about our Okie Doke....
"I think he is the key to their ball club," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of Okajima.
I'm back, and Ozzie's words were SO true! And then the stage belonged to Paps, who recorded his 22nd save. JUST. He had only pitched once in the past ten days, and it showed. Tito has got to get him in there at least once every 4 days or so for him to remain sharp, save or no save situation.
But the Red Sox showed that their hitting slump might be over, with three run home runs by Manny and Mikey Lowell. And now, it's on to Cleveland, who is in the thick of the wild card race, for four games. And on the mound will be Jon Lester, starting in place of Julian Tavarez, who was gracious when informed of the news. He is a good man, and he said this when informed of the change.......
"After my last start, I felt like something was going to happen," Tavarez said. "I think it's the right move and I respect that. I asked him how he was doing," Tavarez said. "He had a big smile on his face, which means he's doing good. I hope he pitches a great game."
Peter here....nice words, Julian. Thank you for the good times when you were a starter, and there were many. Your bowling ball roller to Youkilis and your traffic cop motions while on the mound come to mind, with a smile. And when Schilling comes back on the 31st, Lester will be on his way back to Pawtucket. We'll see him again in September, plus we get to see him for two starts in the next ten days with the home club to boot.
The Red Sox move to 59-39, twenty games over .500 yet again. They have a 7 1/2 game lead over the Yankees, who play the KC Royals four times starting today. They destroyed the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and they also have six games remaining with them. The Red Sox have 15! Advantage Sox. Click on the title for Dan Shaughnessy's great article all about Jon Lester's first start tonight, and when I read it, it made me cry. No, I'm not a wimp. I love life. So let's all stand and cheer as he strolls to the Cleveland mound for the first time since his awful diagnosis. I know I will. With all the joy in my heart. And there is SO much joy. I'd love to read your comments, and have a great week. Click on that title, and thanks.