Sunday, April 09, 2006

Game 6: According to Plan

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 4, Baltimore Orioles 1

2004 and 2005 stats for Rodrigo Lopez:
vs the Red Sox: 2.87 ERA
vs the rest of the league: 4.50 ERA

You see? You see? He’s not THAT good. Trust me he isn’t. The Sox just have a mental block when facing him. Any Red Sox that has consistently faced him does poorly. However, the front office (using wheelbarrows of cash and infinite wisdom) has found a solution:

Step 1. Use a lineup of guys he has never (or almost never) faced before.

Adam Stern (Coco just jammed his pinky on the ugly slide into third yesterday)
J.T. Snow
Alex Gonzalez
Mike Lowell
Mark Loretta (3 previous AB’s)
Josh Bard (6 previous AB’s)

Step 2. Forget slugging. Use the “small ball”.

All 9 of the Red Sox hits were singles. For a team that has lead the league in OPS for 3 consecutive years “small ball” usually means “a double that only scores 1 run”. There was a sac bunt (!?!?!), a few hit and run plays and heads up running that took advantage of sloppy defense. It was like watching one of those boring NL teams that win all those close games. It’s Bizzaro World.

Step 3. Have the pitching keep you in the game.

Wakefield was good for 6. He got into some slight jams (errors by Loretta and Gonzo didn’t help) but he got out mostly unscathed. Timlin had a shaky but scoreless 7th and Foulke looked like he was going to pitch in the 8th but then Mr. Peabody and Sherman used the Way Back Machine to unleash the 2004 version of Foulke. Either this stuff just kicked in or he was perfect with 2 K’s. Damn. He was perfect with 2 K’s. Finally, Papelbon proving that his weakness isn’t Kryptonite and red sunlight, gave up a double and hit Tejada before getting the last three outs. That’s his third save this week for those keeping score at home.

It's a SWEEP in Baltimore and a successful win vs a known Red Sox killer. The plan works! Hear that Ted Lilly? We gonna get ya!

Next up: Toronto and the home opener on Tuesday. The boys are back in town.