On To Philly With A Victory For The Sox...Back to Boston For The Celtics, With The Lakers In Tow...A US Open Noon Playoff...Boston 9 Cincinnati 0
The Great American Ballpark is the home of the Cincinnati Reds. It's also a place, as the Boston Red Sox found out in a 9-0 defeat of those Reds, that's fairly easy to hit one out into the seats. Yesterday, without their two big sluggers, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, the visitors from Boston smashed four home runs. Jacoby Ellsbury, who set the Red Sox rookie record for steals in a season with 33, Justin Pedroia, the still white-hot JD Drew and Coco Crisp all went deep, and it led to a great offensive display for the world champions. It was the first time since '97 that the first three hitters in the Boston lineup hit taters. Who were they? Nomar, John Valentin and Connecticut's own (Too Big) Mo Vaughn. Outfielder Coco Crisp had this to say after the shutout ended...
"We have a good hitting team," Crisp said. "Those guys make us better, no doubt. But without them, we were still able to put up some good runs. It shows that we can still play good ball as a team without the two superstars. The rest of us have contributed in our own way. It was a good team win."
Peter here, and yes, Boston can hit, even when two important powerful cogs are missing from the machine. Just wait until THEY return! Josh Beckett was as good on the mound as his mates were at the plate. In what what might have been his best start of the season, he went seven strong, allowing no runs and only six hits while striking out half a dozen. He threw first-pitch strikes to 23 of 28 batters, and that is a KEY. He said this...
"You're always trying to get ahead, so that first pitch is key, then you work off that," Beckett said. "Those early counts are big. I felt good today. I threw a lot of pitches when I needed to throw good ones. It was a good day."
Peter here, and you can say that again, Josh. I was waiting for him to catch up to the rest of the staff after missing vital spring training time with that aggravated back, and he certainly looks like he has. He kept the Reds' hitters off balance all day, just the way we like it. Aardsma, continuing his lights-out bullpen work, threw a clean eighth and Mike Timlin, who is perfect for these kind of game conditions, ended it with a nine pitch ninth. Shortly afterwards, the Sox were jetting east to the home of the cheese steak sandwich, Philadelphia. It's the home of the first place Phillies, too. I almost forgot about them. I guess I was hungry for a cheese steak, juicy and dripping with onions and ketchup and maybe a few peppers, cut in half with plenty of napkins and still sizzling from the grill, but it's before six in the morning! Oh well.
The Phillies/Red Sox pitching matchups go just like this...and I like 'em...
Bartolo Colon (4-1, 3.41 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (6-4, 3.27) tonight
Jon Lester (5-3, 3.43) vs. Jamie Moyer (7-3, 4.12) Tuesday
Justin Masterson (3-1, 2.90) vs. Kyle Kendrick (6-2, 4.54) Wednesday
The Phillies are also in first place, so make no mistake, they will be tough. In other news, the Boston Celtics knew they'd be coming home after last night's game in LA, but they had been hoping the Lakers would not be joining them. Alas, LA forced a game six, which comes up on Tuesday. No team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA finals, and I hope this year will be no different. So go Green, go Sox, and GO YOU, my Constant Readers. I hope you had a great Father's Day weekend, and I wish you a great Monday, when at noon there will be a playoff to determine golf's US Open champion. If you have the day off, it should be compelling television. It will be shown on NBC and NBC HD at 2pm. ESPN at noon. So that's it! As always, be well, and click on the title of this post for something about our Sox. Thank you for stopping in once again.