Boston Red Sox In Twelve For The Sweep...Boston 6 Seattle 3
Ah yes, Safeco Field in Seattle, home of the last place Seattle Pilots.....err..Mariners. It's the place where teams come in and win, and that modus operandi worked well for the Boston Red Sox Thursday afternoon as they defeated the home club by a score of 6-3. It took them twelve innings to do it, but do it they did. A 3-3 left coast trip is a good one, especially after losing the first three to the Angels. Clay Buchholz started and was able to go five and one third innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out seven...this was his best outing since he returned to the rotation but it was not enough to earn a win. He's a work in progress and should improve with each and every start. The bullpen took over with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and held Seattle scoreless for the remaining six and two thirds frames. The performance of Justin Masterson was masterful, and it was his first appearance in his new role as a mid to long reliever, although I'm sure now that Tito Francona, the Red Sox manager, will not hesitate to throw him into a game as a part of the seventh or eighth inning bridge to Papelbon. Masterson got Buchholz out of the sixth inning and was able to pitch scoreless baseball through the eighth. HE WAS CLUTCH, he looked comfortable coming into the game from the 'pen, and look for more, MUCH more, from him in that savior type of role. Here's what Jonathon Papelbon had to say about his new bullpen mate...
“I was really excited for him, especially in that situation,” said Papelbon, who allowed two hits in the 11th and pitched in all three games of the series. “That was a tough situation, especially with it being his first time relieving. He passed it with flying colors, obviously.”
Okajima, Delcarmen, Papelbon and a shaky Hansen (when isn't he?) followed, every one of them posting big goose eggs on the scoreboard. Hansen provided some unneeded thrills and chills in the bottom of the 12th, but he got out of the mess he made and earned his second save. PHEW! This is Red Sox manager Tito Francona commenting on his sometimes vilified and sometimes praised 2008 bullpen...
“I think we believe in them, we always have,” manager Terry Francona said of his relief corps. “On days we don’t necessarily get the job done, we still believe in them. I’ve said all along our bullpen’s been one of our strengths.”
WE BELIEVE. FAITH. Those are two of the watchwords of Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International, all of us. The hitting stars were Mike Lowell, who lined a double in the 12th inning to plate two, just one of his two hits, and Sean Casey, who drove in the last run in that same inning. It was a great win, albeit a long one, and the three game sweep guaranteed the Sox a nice flight back home, home to Fenway Park and hometown cooking and familiar beds and pillows for the players. The NY Yankees, winners of six straight (would you believe it?) invade our Fenway for a three game set after the Thursday much needed off day. NY will see, in no particular order since the pitching matchups have not been announced yet, Wakefield, Beckett and Lester. Our best three? I think so, at least as of right now. Taking two of three would be sweet indeed, and we will miss seeing the Moose, Mike Mussina, who pitched yesterday. Aww, too bad!
That's a wrap for today, Thursday, July 24, 2008. If you want more on last night's getaway game, simply click on the title of this post. I'd love to read and respond to any of your comments and I must say this once again...thank you SO much for stopping in. I hope you can make it an everyday habit. I do! As always, BE WELL.