Eleventh Heaven For Wakefield With Papi and Pedey Power...Boston 5 Oakland 4
Big Papi is back...there are no ifs, ands or buts about it. His three-run tater and seventh inning game winning RBI propelled the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 win over the visiting Oakland A's. It was another three game series conquest for the first place Red Sox. Papi said this after the game...
“It’s good. It puts you in a good mood for the second half. The second half is what matters for real,” Ortiz said. “I don’t see a team that played good in the first half, and in the second half that is not even close to being in the playoffs. The most important thing for this ballclub through the years I’ve been here is to look forward to winning games in the second half so we can go to the playoffs.”
Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima and Jonathon Papelbon took care of the last three innings after Wakefield's six but Paps labored yet again, throw thirty pitches and giving up a run. Boston manager Terry "Tito" Francona spoke about his closer after the game...
"The thing I've noticed a little bit is command," manager Terry Francona said. "A first-hitter walk in the ninth is not what you're looking for, and it's something you don't see too much. But he is one of the few guys, Mariano Rivera, there's a few — the really good ones — who can pitch out of innings when it's not perfect. It's been hard at times," Francona said. "This league is hard. I don't know that you go out every year and just have eight walks. But he's OK."
OK, but not the same overpowering Paps we know and love. Most likely he won't pitch tonight against the Kansas City Royals, but you never know. Here are the pitching matchups for the final four game series before the All Star break...
Luke Hochevar (4-3, 5.08) vs. Brad Penny (6-3, 4.67) tonight
Brian Bannister (6-6, 3.87) vs. Jon Lester (7-6, 4.16) Friday
Gil Meche (4-8, 4.14) vs. John Smoltz (0-2, 6.60) Saturday
Bruce Chen (0-3, 6.88) vs. Josh Beckett (10-3, 3.62) Sunday
That's a wrap for this gloomy (so far) Thursday. I hope you'll have a great day and I look forward to any and all of your comments. As always, BE WELL. I'll be back. Oh, click on the title for more Sox stuff.