Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Game 104

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 6, Tampa Bay Devil Rays 3

Well played last night. Wakefield had one slip up in the first and gave up a two run homerun to Tino Martinez, but pitched very well otherwise, improving his record to 10 and 1 against Tampa on his 38th birthday. He's now pitched over 2,000 innings and has now has more starts than Luis Tiant in the Boston record books. Even though the defensive lineup was a little weird last night (McCarty at first, Mueller at second, Cabrera at short and Youkilis at third) it worked out pretty well - good defense was played by all involved. Youkilis and McCarty also got RBIs - McCarty with a rocket line drive homerun into left-center in the second and Youk with a two run double in the fifth, both off of started Mark Hendrickson. Embree and Foulke closed out the game without problem. The entire thing was on ESPN and the commentators spent much of their time talking about how much better Tampa Bay was going to be in a season or two, while the Rays' newest hope, 19-year-old B.J. Upton, had his first major league at-bat, then walk, then run scored and finally hit. I have to agree with ESPN on this one - they're going to be a fast, powerful team given some time and more of Pinella's excellent work. If they do manage to turn themselves into a major contender (read: Yankee Killer) with their tiny $23 million dollar budget, so much the better. It might lead to an interesting revolution in the way owners construct their teams and who knows, might even lead to a lowering of ticket prices at the more popular ballparks. Or I could dream.

DL List Update:
Everyone's favorite section. Mark Bellhorn is now on the 15 day with a fractured thumb. Reese is still working on his ribs and is expected back around when Bellhorn is. Ellis Burks is stretching his knee and lifting weights to get his leg back in shape and may be back before August is over. Williamson is now pitching without pain and may be back soon, although there's no announced time table. Leskanic and DiNardo are on the 15 day (I've heard healthy scratch suggested as the hypothesis) and hope to be back by the end of the month...I think. Depends on what your definition of a stretch-run is, but my guess is the end of August, or possibly September. Bill Mueller will continue to play second and Youk, who's .342 in his last sixteen games, will stay at third. Another trade addition, the Dodger's Dave Roberts, is apparently going to be mixed up in the outfield, although I can't imagine in what capacity except as a pinch runner (the man can run) unless Francona's going to insist on bench players randomly again or Kapler cools off. Of course, knowing the way things work, Francona will do the first and it will lead to the second, giving us all another reason to dislike him. Feh.

Schilling versus Rob Bell tonight, with Schilling ridiculously favored to win. The Sox have something like another twelve games against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays this season, who could be just the sort of punching bags this team needs to build itself up properly. YANKEES SUCK!