A Birthday Win For Tim Wakefield And The Red Sox
41 years old? Could've fooled me. Tim Wakefield went seven strong innings Thursday afternoon at Fenway Park, and his team put up a nice crooked number in the bottom of the seventh inning to sculpt a 7-4 Sox win. With the score tied at 3, Doug Mirabelli attoned for his sixth inning baserunning gaffe with a single, scoring Coco Crisp with the go ahead run. Alex Cora followed 'Belli with a run scoring single and Peds finished off the Birds with a two run double. At that point it was 7-3 and the game was over. But after Okajima threw a 6 pitch (!!) 8th inning, the stage was set for the Red Sox debut of their newest pitcher, Eric Gagne. The crowd stood as soon as the bullpen door opened and kept standing until he reached the mound. Gags (this nic will NOT work!) struck out the first two batters, then allowed a meaningless run in a non-save situation before ending it and sending the crowd home happy. And why shouldn't they be? The Red Sox are now 66-42, 24 games over .500. Their starting rotation is now complete with Wakes, Lester, Daisuke, Beckett and Schill, and their bullpen is the strongest it has been in anyone's memory. ANYONE'S.
It's now westward ho for a three game set with the Mariners of Seattle. Here are your pitching matchups.....
Jon Lester (1-0, 4.26 ERA) vs. Horacio Ramirez (6-3, 6.52) tonight
Daisuke Matsuzaka (12-8, 3.75) vs. Jarrod Washburn (8-7, 4.11) Saturday
Beckett (13-5, 3.41) vs. Miguel Batista (11-7, 4.23) Sunday
Looking good! Everyone, have a wonderful summer weekend as we all follow our Boston Red Sox club late into the summer night. And with the Yankees' loss, the lead in the AL East is again up to 8 games. The Yankees play their last three "easy" games with a set against the KC Royals, and then, for them, it gets tough. And the Sox have maintained their lead while the Yankees have been playing patsies for the last couple weeks. That's the sweetest thing of all. Oh yes.
Click on the title of this post for more on Eric Gagne's first Red Sox appearance, from the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman. GO SOX! Forever.....and ever.