Toronto's "Doc" Halladay Gunned Down By The Red Sox And Paul Byrd's Six-Shooter
Well, Paul Byrd doesn't really have a six-shooter...he only struck out one Toronto batter. But he DID give his team, the Boston Red Sox, six great innings, allowing zero runs and three hits, walking three and whiffing one. The Boston bullpen, still one of the best in the American League made even better with the acquisition of Billy Wagner, took over in the seventh. Manny Delcarmen, Billy Wagner, in his Boston debut and Takashi Saito goose-egged the Jays from there. Indeed, after the Sox scored single runs in each of the first four frames, it was over. Red Sox manager Terry "Tito" Francona had these glowing words for Tim Wakefield's replacement, Mr. Byrd. More on Timmy a bit later...
“A month ago he was throwing BP to his kids,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Byrd, he creates his own excitement,” Francona said. “He’s running around patting everyone on the back, he’s yelling at Varitek, he’s waving to his wife. He’s got all kinds of things going on.”
Indeed, Paul made us all happy with his antics Sunday, but when it was time to get down to business, he did just that. Here's the born-again pitcher himself with a few syllables...
“I came in with no expectations other than I was really hoping to give our team six or seven innings, a quality start,” Byrd said. “Halladay’s one of the top guys in the league. I’m trying to help our bullpen. I’m trying to get my feet wet. I had no expectations.”
With a Texas Rangers loss yesterday, the American League wild card lead for Boston is a comfortable (for now) 3 1/2 games. Oh, about Tim Wakefield. His back started to tighten up on him during his very effective last start and he expects to get a cortisone shot today. We just have to hope we'll see him before the postseason. Get well, Timmah.
As for the Red Sox, they travel into a house of trouble, Tropicana Field, for three games starting tomorrow night. Their record there at the home of the Tampa Bays Rays is woeful. Here are the pitching matchups, three night games that begin at 7:08pm EDT...
7:08 PM ET NESN Lester (10-7) vs. Sonnanstine (6-7)
7:08 PM ET ESPN Beckett (14-5) vs. Garza (7-9)
7:08 PM ET NESN Buchholz (3-3) vs. Price (7-6)
We go with our three best, so let's hope for another sweep (way easier said than done. 2 of 3 would be just fine with me). Boston has won 10 of their last 13 and are the hottest team in the junior circut.
That's it for this early Monday morning, the last day of August. September already? Wow. September will be the month when we find out if Boston will have any baseball plans in October. I tend to think they will. Francona has done a great job, as usual, spreading the work load amongst his talented crew of major league baseball players. That's one of his strong points. Sure, sometimes it seems like he makes the wrong move, the wrong substitution or the wrong pitcher put into a game at the exact wrong time, but much more often than not, he's exactly right. He's a good man and an underratedly great major league manager. The Red Sox are lucky to have him at the helm. Case closed. Boom. Thump.
Click on this post's title for more Red Sox coverage ala the Boston Globe and as always, BE WELL. GO SOX. Your comments are always welcome and always answered to the best of my baseball ability. See ya...real soon.