Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Games 22 - 25

Final Scores:

Game 22: Boston Red Sox 2, Texas Rangers 7
Game 23: Boston Red Sox 9, Texas Rangers 2
Game 24: Boston Red Sox 6, Texas Ranger 5
Game 25: Boston Red Sox 3, Detroit Tigers 8

I think this weekend could be described as "wild and woolly." Actually, in my case, it WAS a wild and woolly weekend, but that's a separate story. The wildness in this case was the pitching: Wakefield fell apart in the seventh against Texas in Game 22, Foulke gave up two runs in Game 24 and Neal and Embree gave up a combined five runs last night against the Tigers. The woolly was the various happenings: the series win against Texas was the first one since 2000; the Sox signed John Olerud to a minor league deal and Dave McCarty is now out on waivers; last night was the Red Sox debut of pitcher of Jeremi Gonzalez, who gave up three runs and struck out seven over six innings.

My wild and woolly was a five day, five game, five ballpark tour serving as a bachelor party for my friend Alan, who is getting married next month. While the Sox had their night off on Thursday, Alan and I were in the Bronx with Micah, watching the Yankees fall to the Angels. On Friday, as the Sox fell apart in the face of the Texas assault, we saw the Nationals (who are now my second favorite team) beat the Mets in DC with Alan's friend Chris. The next day the three of us went off to Baltimore (
beautiful park there) and watched the Orioles beat the tar out of the Devil Rays. Even though the practical part of me wanted Baltimore to lose (since they're in first place and all), it was nice to see Lance Carter tagged for not one, but two homeruns. On Sunday, we went to Philadelphia and saw Josh Beckett inexplicably fall apart in the first inning. The Phillies went on to win the game eight to six, but the game also featured such wonders as Dontrelle Willis pinch hitting for Beckett just to get a hit and score a run, the voice of Satan on the loudspeaker announcing a foul ball and the Philly Phanatic flying in on a helicopter. Last night, Alan, Robin and I waited in the cold and the rain (alright, less in the rain, since we were sheltered under one of the decks, but it was cold) for the Mets and Phillies to do battle at Shea. It was completely worth it - we watched the whole game from right behind home plate, had an excellent time cheering on the Mets and even ended up on TV during highlights on a local news station. I finally got to see Pedro pitch again. Beautiful. There really is nothing like chanting "Pedro!" madly, over and over again, with about 10,000 other people, pulling for a strikeout. Also, lest I forget, Jose Offerman pinch hit for the Phillies last night. Taunting him was one of the other highlights of the night.*

The entire time, of course, I was representing the home colors, bringing around the World Series hat (and the Shirt to the games at Baltimore and Philly), staring intently at the out of town scoreboard in each park and even watching Game 23 on a TV in ESPN Zone in Baltimore. We even got into a jeering match with a group of drunk Orioles fans in a different section at Camden Yards. Apparently they think "Who's Your Daddy" still applies to the Sox...I had to remind them that Pedro now pitches for the Mets and that being in first place in April isn't that great of a feat.

Overall, things aren't too bad on the Red Sox front, although Schilling gave an interview on WEEI where he said that the chemistry of '04 (and '03 for that matter) is gone with Gabe Kapler, Dave Roberts, Dave McCarty and Derek Lowe. He also said the ankle is healing, but that's to be expected. Wade Miller also has one more rehab start in Pawtucket before he should be ready, which is excellent news. Kevin Youlkilis is back up in the majors and kicking ass and taking names, which rocks the party that rocks the body. The chemistry thing is, well, worrisome. The team wasn't exactly broken up and on-the-paper improvements were certainly made, but I've certainly heard thoughts from websites like Boston Dirt Dogs and from friends that there's a big risk that the team isn't the same and that the old chemistry that made the teams of the past two years so special is gone. Again, it's a little early to call it one way or another, but bad chemistry could be a killer later. Sox and Tigers going on right now, getting interesting again. GO SOX!!!

* - Jose Offerman (or Jose Awfulman, as he was not so affectionally reffered to) predates this blog, but he was one of those terrible players who dogged the Sox at the end of the '90s. His departure for somewhere else (and wherever it was, it didn't really matter) was a gift from God, greater even than having BK Kim go to Colorado. SOOOO good to taunt him while Pedro got him to fly out. Robin even suggested (quite loudly, of course) that Pedro beam him, which wasn't such a bad idea.