Thursday, June 09, 2005

Game 59: In Boomer We Trust

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 4, St. Louis Cardinals 0

I must confess to weakness: with the overwhelming humid heat crouched on New York since this past weekend and the West Coast-style 10:05 start, brought on because of a three hour rain delay, I went to bed after the fourth inning, a mere hour after the game started and, of course, missed a beauty of a ball game. That's why Al Gore* invented the Internet, though.

Matt Morris pitched a one run complete game in 103 pitches on Monday you say? Well, Boomer threw 94 pitches to get eight complete innings with four hits, two strikeouts, no walks and no runs. In fact, he only got to three balls once and there was never more than one base runner in any one inning. I'm salavating over here. Foulke gave up two hits to close it out, which means that the Cardinals scored a grand total of no runs throughout the ballgame...making the Red Sox the only team in Major League Baseball to have not been shut out this season. How appropriate is it for Boston to claim that crown away from St. Louis. I guess Cardinals fans will just have to wait for a shot at complete revenge for 2004. This game is also, if I remember correctly, the first time the Cardinals have been beaten at home in an interleague game.

Meanwhile, Chris Carpenter made his own solid effort until the sixth, when Lord Papi the Glorious hit a sinking fastball out for a solo shot. Nixon and Millar hit singles and the Cap'n smacked a two run double to make it 3 - 0. It didn't matter that nine men were left on base, or that the Sox hit into two more double plays, making a total of nine for the series. Those runs that scored were enough for the win.

The amusing thing about all this winning is Boomer's reaction, which is much like it was when he shut out Baltimore: the old man does it again. In a way, it's kind of appropriate: it's the middle of the draft, the Red Sox are picking up players between the ages of 18 and 21 to keep the juice in the farm system flowing and a guy who's 42, in the twilight of his career comes out and shuts down the best offense in NL like it's nothing. Even further,
the victory, as unimportant as it is to the season as a whole, had a nice psychological lift: a pitcher still starting to prove he's worthwhile to Red Sox fans (and if he wins his next one, especially in such dramatic fashion, he'll start to become a golden boy) coming in and shutting down a prime offense that had hurt much of the pitching staff. Boston can go into their next series with their heads held high.

Kevin Millar was in for Manny Ramirez last night, to take advantage of Kevin's recent hot streak. Pitching coach Ron Jackson mentioned mechanics as being the problem for Ramirez, who's gotten out of his slump, but is now hitting like a slap hitter: single, single, single. Certainly not a situation to get concerned over as of yet; on those days when the Sox do hit, there's power to spare until Manny becomes Manny again.

The Sox have one of those crazy "day off" things the kids are so wild about today and only have to make the trip to the North Side of Chicago for tomorrow's early (2:20 Eastern) matchup against the Cubs, the first in 87 years. You know, since the 1918 World Series. Bronson Arroyo versus Greg Maddux, for what should a pretty fun game. GO SOX!!!

* - Ha!