Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Game 105: Manny Being Manny

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 6, Kansas City Royals 4

Most definately the picture of the day:

Manny had the above sign out of the left field wall before the start of the game, then retrieved it in the top of the ninth to give to a fan. Several Red Sox players, including Kevin Millar, made the sign up before the game. I think if anyone needed a sign of how much, when all is said and done, Manny's teamates are behind him, this sign proves it. Of course, something like this situation might prove it too.

Manny, who made his first start last night since the end of Mannygate, went two for four with four RBI, including a three run home run. Tim Wakefield had a rough start, giving up home runs to Matt Stairs and former Sox prospect Chip Ambres (yes, the guy we traded for Tony Graffanino) but went on to pitch four scoreless innings and set down fifteen of his last sixteen batters, getting thirteen in a row and his 10th win on his 39th birthday.

Can you say back for the playoffs? The Red Sox not only optioned Jon Papelbon to Pawtucket to make room for Jose Cruz, Jr., they also assigned him a new role: get ready to pitch in the bullpen. Papelbon, who was a closer at Mississippi State, will be gearing up to take the place of the reliever the Sox did not acquire before the trading deadline. Assuming he does well in Pawtucket, Papelbon will become the second rookie reliever in the Sox bullpen in time for the playoffs, if not the end of the stretch drive. There's also the interesting implication that the conversion is taking place because the Sox need Papelbon, but don't want to overpitch a young arm that's still in development. In the meantime, the Sox are back down to the more sensible elevens pitchers and with Papelbon's return to Pawtucket, it seems that Wade Miller does not have anything permanent wrong with him.

Keith Foulke continues his rehab process, as Curt Schilling made his sixth save last night under another set of charmed circumstances. Foulke apparently feels that he needs to prove himself ready as a closer to Terry Francona, which is probably just as well - not that I think Curt will be closing as soon as Foulke is ready to go, but it's good to know that Keith knows the closer spot isn't a guarenteed item. Foulke has no time table on when he's coming back.

Wade Miller makes his start tonight against Kyle Snyder, who started the year as a reliever and is now 0 and 2 with 8.59 ERA in two starts. GO SOX!!!

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