Thursday, July 08, 2004

Game 82

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 11, Oakland Athletics 3

Can you say two wins in a row? Can you say this team is ON right now? Pedro had an excellent seven innings - seven strikeouts, five hits, three runs. Manny had an ENORMOUS homerun that hit off of the top of the Coke bottle (right after the ESPN guys mentioned that neither he or Ortiz had hit anything in the past two games and that it didn't really matter that they hadn't). Mueller went 3 for 4, Garciaparra 2 for 4, Damon 2 for 5, Varitek 2 for 4 and Mark Redman was knocked out after two and two-thirds innings. The Yankees lost again yesterday (Sox are now six games out of first), the win against Oakland puts the Sox firmly in second for the wildcard with a game difference behind the A''s just been an excellent two days. Oh and the season's half over. Interesting how things stand...

As much as the ESPN announcers annoy me (although the level of annoyance they cause me is nowhere near how angry I get at Tim McCarver and Joe Buck), they did make two interesting points last night. First, for all the panic in Red Sox Nation last week, the Sox are only two games behind where they were last year at the mid-point. Second, assuming things continue the way they have been over the past two days (ok, maybe not on quite the same pace, but with the hitting being as energized as it has been this series), the second half of this year and the second half of last year have one thing in common: Bill Mueller. The Red Sox trade Shea Hillenbrand to Arizona for Mueller and putting Mueller at the end of the lineup energizes the offense. Mueller returns from a successful knee surgery, is put at the end of the lineup and seems to be energizing the lineup. And the guy is supposed to have such a good work ethic and lack of ego that you have to believe that he could continue to provide this sort of boost for the rest of the year without having head-trip problems. Things are looking up...YANKEES SUCK!