Monday, June 06, 2005

Games 54 - 56: How the West Was Won

Final Scores:

Game 54: Boston Red Sox 7, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4
Game 55: Boston Red Sox 6, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 13
Game 56: Boston Red Sox 6, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3

Recaps of Games 54 and 55 at Joy of Sox.

This weekend was my buddy Alan's wedding up in Massachusetts; beautiful ceremony and he and his lovely wife are now off on St. Thomas...where's it's just as hot as it is here. For the purposes of this blog, the wedding provided a backdrop to this weekend's baseball activities.

Friday night was the rehearsal dinner at the Red Parrot in Hull. There were about 30 of us in a banquet room on the top of the restaurant and after we ate we realized that the bar outside was broadcasting the game. We couldn't see the score from where we were standing, so a few of us went outside just as Papi tied up the game with a sacrifice fly. After that, we went back in to avoid the stigma of being called anti-social, but of course, stood near the window and watch events unfold. When Damon cleared the bases with his double, I was cheering at a game I couldn't hear in a different room. It was a mite rediculous but still pretty fun. Foulke, being Foulke, got the first two batters of the ninth without problem, then had to load the bases to get the third out on a strikeout. My life expectancy dropped a few years watching that as I was being hustled out of the door.

The wedding was the same time as the game on Saturday, so once the reception started it was my duty as best man to go and check the scores occasionally on the radio in Alan's car. The first time I came out, it was still 5 - 3 with Embree pitching and Angels threatening to score. I had a bad feeling when I went back to the reception and of course, when I went back out I found that the bullpen had imploded and taken the lead (and the game) with them. Alan Embree was understandably upset at himself; don't get mad, get even. Also hope that Francona starts pitching you in better situations.

Yesterday, I was at my parents' house doing some gardening work and discovered that the schedule had bucked its early season pattern and the game was being played on a Sunday afternoon instead of at 7:05. Tuning in, I found it was the fourth inning with a scoreless tie...and then the Sox remembered they could beat the crap out of Jarod Washburn. Three singles, two walks and a sacrifice fly and the Sox were up 3 - 0. Wade Miller, who had enough stamina to hold through his longest outting this season (110 pitches) but not overpower the hitters he faced, made it into the seventh inning, giving up three runs in the process. Myers, who has been absolutely golden this weekend, came on to get Miller out of his jam and Boston went into the bottom of the inning ready to rip it up. Reliever Jake Woods hit Mueller to start the inning, then gave up a single to Olerud. His relief, Joel Peralta, gave up a single to Jay Payton that loaded the bases, putting the rally in the hands of Mark Bellhorn. Bellhorn, who struck out seven times over the series, listened to my pleas to do something useful and with a full count hit a sacrifice fly to depp center to score Mueller. Renteria struck out, but Big Papi was once again a force to be reckoned with, smacking a two run double and setting the final score. I could see certain members of the Angels reacting this way when they see him next. Timlin had no problems in the eighth and Foulke had an outting so forgettable it was wonderful: seven pitches to retire the side.

Other things of note:
  • Kevin Millar remembered to bring his swing this weekend, hitting two homeruns and an RBI double. I've heard it suggested that the warm weather is what he needed, or the threat of replacement finally got to him, but it doesn't matter to me; as long as he keeps hitting it's all good.
  • Orlando Cabrera was pleased as punch to be back in Boston this weekend and Boston was just as happy to see him. I missed the standing ovation he got on Friday, but I wasn't surprised to hear about it: hell, I was psyched to see him in New York back at the end of April.
  • Speaking of Cabrera, Johnny Damon is day to day with a strained rotator cuff he hurt while robbing O-Cabs of a hit. Jay Payton is subbing for him; in an odd change, Mark Bellhorn batted leadoff yesterday. I'm not sure I understand the logic behind having the league's strikeout leader bat first; I thought the point was to have a contact hitter, but what do I know.
  • Terry Francona thinks Bob Watson is a dick. I find this hillarious. Good on you, Tito.
  • Why God, why?
Sox tonight back in St. Louis, where the Cardinals will hope for a better showing than they put up in last year's World Series. Tim Wakefield and Matt Morris square off at 8:05. GO SOX!!!