Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Game 8: Meltdown at the all You can eat Buffet

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 4, Toronto Blue Jays 8

Trust me, the starting pitching was not this keyed up tonight

This was not your late 90’s Wells tonight, fastball steaming past the hitters inside, curveball dropping out of sight as hitters swing and miss and look foolish. No, tonight he got hit like a redheaded stepchild on a rented mule. There was one streak of seven batters where the old magic returned, but seven runs on ten hits over four innings does not a good outing make.

On the plus side, long relief Lenny DiNardo made a quality showing, scattering six hits over three innings, striking out two, walking one and giving up a run. He even worked himself out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth without surrendering a run, showing some quality poise that might turn him into a mid-rotation starter at some point. For some reason, though, every time I see a young pitcher escape a tight situation without damage I think of Bronson Arroyo two years ago, giving up a triple at the start of an inning and then getting three outs without allowing a run to score.

Speaking of Arroyo, it was a big night for Wily Mo. Either last night’s debacle was so embarrassing that he decided to stop swinging freely, or Manny or Ortiz sat him down and told him what’s what, or he really liked the furniture he got today, because Wily Mo started out the night with a walk (a walk, for God’s sake; he took four pitches without swinging at them!) and worked a single before hitting his first jack of the year into the photographers’ well in centerfield. It was awesome. Papi had a perfect night with two walks, a double and homerun number three and Dustin Mohr hit his first homer on his second at bat (seeing a common theme?). Although it wasn’t the best night for the offense, the good news is that the only weak point in Boston’s game was Wells’ less-than-stellar stuff. Of course, the bad news is that one of the Sox starting five is still working through his Spring Training issues.

Tomorrow, Night of the Nemesis Part 2, as Boston faces the vice-president member of the Rodrigo Lopez Club, Ted Lilly. Will the magic that worked a win against Lopez on April 9 be back again? Only time will tell. GO SOX!!!