Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Game 51: The Kid's Alright

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 8, Toronto Blue Jays 6

David “Who is THIS guy?” Pauley

Ok, it was ugly and suspenseful and mind-bending… but it was a win. They went toe to toe with another “Sox Killer” and brought him back to Earth. See? Ted Lilly isn’t Cy Young after all! He’s just another mediocre pitcher that happens to have three-armed-baby-freak-like success against the Sox. Glad we were able to snap his "5-0 in last 5 starts against Boston" streak.

Also worth noting is that Francona doesn’t play favorites. No sir. This guy treats every starter the same weather he be a grizzled vet or a rookie just called up from AA Portland. If you want to pitch for the Red Sox, then you are going to throw 100+ pitches every time you start. Poor David Pauley (4.1 innings, 11 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 3 K) was minding his own business, making his Major League debut, and Francona leaves him for the wolves in the 5th. Yeah I know you want to have him go five full for the win, but getting beat like a Mike Tyson date can’t be good for the kid’s confidence (or the team’s shot at a win). In the end, no win for his record, but he pitched pretty well and has a good sinker. I see him as a long reliever or a starter in the years to come. For some reason he seems to show much more mound presence and self confidence than what you normally get from Clement. Oh wait… that’s right… Clement sucks.

But the boys were swinging big lumber tonight. Ortiz, Manny, Nixon and Loretta all went deep. For Loretta, it was his first HR since the game winning blast over the Monster on Patriots Day. You might remember that homer from the 10,000,000 times NESN has replayed it in their promos. The only sour spots with the offence tonight was third base coach DeMarlo Hale sending Lowell home on a Crisp single, only to be gunned out by a MILE (shades of Dale Sveum) and the fact the Crisp (.356 OBP) was on base once and Youk (.434 OBP) made it on 4 times. Now, can somebody tell me WHY Crisp, who is coming off an injury, is leading off? Anybody?

The pen also did a great job shutting down Toronto. Van Buren, Delcarmen and Foulke were top notch. Finally, as always, the petulant Papelbon protruded from the dugout to paste pathetic palookas with powerful paralyzing perfect pachyderm’s percussion pitches. From the mouth of Bugs Bunny to Paps ear. He gets his 19th save out of 19 chances, the Sox avoid the sweep and get a rare win out of the 5th spot in the rotation. Now… a relaxing off day.