Sunday, April 23, 2006

Game 19: Blame Canada

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 6, Toronto Blue Jays 3

"With their little beedy eyes/and their mouths so open wide..."

It’s official: the Blue Jays give me the willies and I’m glad we’re done with games with our neighbors to the north for the time being. Part of the problem was the production choices by the Rogers Centre sports network, which opted to show onscreen graphics only when a new batter came to the plate. No ball and strike counts, no way of knowing who was on base, no score…makes it a little tough to follow the game when you can’t look away from the screen for two seconds without losing track of what’s going on. But even without onscreen graphics, this afternoon’s contest was a tough one to watch. Boston took the early lead against Towers with a two-run bomb by Big Papi in the first, added another run when Mike Lowell singled in Manny later in the inning, then made it four to nothing when Youk knocked in Harris with a single in the fourth. So far so good, one might say.

But the Sox are having trouble, as usual, sealing the deal and scoring enough runs to knock out a tottering starter. They loaded the bases twice during the game and failed to produce a run in either situation, allowing Towers to hang on just long enough to get a normal start. Meanwhile, Clement did his best to make things interesting on the pitching side and kept the Jays as much in the game as the lackluster offense. After giving up a three-run homer to the always-troublesome Gregg Zaun in the fourth, Clement had to weasel out two more outs in the fourth, wriggle out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth (getting Zaun to fly out to Nixon on the warning track on a hit that screamed grand slam) and gave up two more singles in the sixth before ending his day. Basically, Clement gave new meaning to “scattering hits” to get his second win of the year.

Unlike yesterday though, the Sox had their class A relievers available to finish things off. Foulke, Timlin and Papelbon stopped any further Blue Jay threats, Foulke not only shutting down the threat in the sixth, but going perfect and striking out three in the process. Papelbon gave up two hits and nearly started a rally in the ninth, but came back to end the threat and pick up his eighth save on a strikeout and a double play.

Day off tomorrow as the Sox flee Canada to the dangerous climes of Cleveland and a three game series against the Indians. Maybe a series win this time around? GO SOX!!!