Thursday, June 23, 2005

Game 71: Sweepsville

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 5, Cleveland Indians 4

See Wade, that's pretty much what I was talking about. Two runs, six hits, four strikeouts, five innings. Three walks isn't so hot and definately contributed to that 112 pitch count, but overall Miller kept the Sox in a game on a night when Cliff Lee was in his two run, seven inning mode.

After Miller left, the bullpen had its usual spate of difficulties - two singles off Embree in the seventh and neither Myers nor Timlin could hold the runners. Fortunately, we're in the midst of a hot streak right now, so the offense was able to pick up the slack, picking up a run in the seventh with Olerud's first homerun with the Sox and another two in the eighth with a set of singles from Millar, Ramirez, Olerud and Mueller and some base running help from Johnny Damon, resting his rotator cuff last night. In the ninth, center fielder Grady Sizemore misplayed a Jay Payton double, allowing Payton to go to third on the play. Edgah, up next, seized the opportunity and hit a double of his own, knocking in Payton for the winning run. An eight pitch ninth from Foulke closed it out and the Sox pulled off the first sweep of the Indians in Jacobs Field since 1999.

The Sox promoted Dustin Pedroia, hot second base prospect, from AA to AAA yesterday. Looking at the Sox top prospects, there are some names that have excited a fair amount of interest and it looks like the Sox will have good players coming through the system for a while. Although the Sox only have one player (Hanley Ramirez) in the top ten of Baseball America's 2005 Top 100 Prospects list, the Front Office's commitment to building a farm system begs an interesting question: what happens to players like Ramirez, Pedroia, Jon Papelbon and Anabel Sanchez when and if they make it in the big leagues? Although team President and CEO Larry Lucchino called the Yankees an Evil Empire because they have the reputation of winning exclusively on the back of talent they picked up somewhere else, Boston certainly had more than a taste of that out-of-town success last year, winning it all with only one home-grown player, Trot Nixon and continuing it this year with the signings of Edgar Renteria, David Wells, Matt Clement, Wade Miller and John Halama. Clearly, Theo will have to balance bringing up a farmhand and gaining the moral high ground with doing what's necessary to win championship titles, which is the whole point of the exercise.

Sox have the night off tonight and start a three game set tomorrow in Philadelphia for the last of 2005 interleague play, with Wakefield facing off against former Yankee Jon Lieber. Lieber has a mixed overall record against Boston (4.19 ERA and a .240 opposing batting average), but did well against the Sox last fall. GO SOX!!!