Red Sox Sweep Rays Right Out Of Boston, DESPITE Manny Delcarmen
Good morning on this cold Monday. More about Manny Delcarmen in a bit. The Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 7-3, sweeping them right out of the city of Boston in fine fashion, just the way we like it. Jon Lester started and Jon Lester was shaky, throwing way too many pitches in the first two innings before finding his timing and settling down. He was able to give his club six innings, giving up only one run on four hits. He walked three and went to too many high counts early in the game. It was if he'd forgotten that in his past start he had worked faster, with less figiting and hemming and hawing between each delivery. It worked then and it will work in the future. He had this to say after the game...
"I've been figuring some things out this year," Lester said. "Figuring out how to set guys up more. How to go to pitches other than what I think are my strengths and get guys out. So I think it's more just a confidence thing than anything."
Peter here, and Jon, keep mixing up those pitches and don't give the opposing batters time to settle in and wait for your offerings. And throw first pitch strikes! When you do, you are nearly invincible. On the other hand, hot head Manny Delcarmen, who has the velocity on his fastball AND the break on his off-speed stuff that should enable him to be more successful, was brought on to pitch the seventh inning of a a 4-1 game, and COULD NOT DO IT. And I do not know why! Is he telegraphing his pitches? Is he not taking 'Tek's pitch calling the right way? I don't know, but Terry Francona, like me, has NO faith or patience left. That goes for Mike Timlin, too. At least not now. Manny allowed two runs on two hits and threw nineteen pitches just to get that one out. Delcarmen was quickly yanked by Tito Francona. Both he and Timlin are having their problems, and one of them is needed to be a part of the bridge to Papelbon. Other than Paps and Okajima, no one has "lights out, game over" stuff in the Sox bullpen. Because of that, the club has activated Craig Hansen for the four games in Detroit. He was 1-0 with a 1.62 ERA at Pawtucket, and if he finally could be effective at the major league level, it would be a huge shot in the arm for the bullpen and the parent club.
The hitting star was none other than Kevin Youkilis. He, as well as Manny, have both been Mr. Clutch lately, and Youk is even more valuable this season because of the multiple infield positions he can play, and play well. The Sox were in double figures yet again, and that bodes well for the future. And the future is NOW.
The Sox motor to Detroit for a four game set. The Tigers have a power-packed lineup but have been underperforming horribly in many phases of the game. They are entrenched in last place while the Sox, with a record of 20-13, are in first. Here are the pitching matchups...
Daisuke Matsuzaka (4-0, 2.52) vs. Jeremy Bonderman (2-2, 3.86) tonight
Tim Wakefield (2-1, 4.03) vs. Nate Robertson (1-3, 6.82) Tuesday
Clay Buchholz (2-2, 3.71) vs. Armando Galarraga (2-1, 1.88) Wednesday
Josh Beckett (3-2, 4.19) vs. Justin Verlander (1-5, 6.28) Thursday
Three out of four would be sweet, wouldn't it? But I'm getting ahead of myself...one game at a time. Bonderman is tough, but Dice is tough too. So enjoy yourselves on another Monday in a series of endless Mondays, and if you have time, click on the title for the Boston Globe Red Sox homepage. As always, BE WELL. I thank you for stopping in, my shrinking core of faithful readers. I'd love to hear from you and I'll respond to every comment you leave me. Sometimes it seems that daily readership could improve if I included pictures, but I've always preferred to let my writing do the talking. And I always will. Again, my thanks. You're the best!!!