Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Game 74: 20 Years in the Making

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 9, New York Mets 4

Before the game I asked my father if this match up gave him any familiar feelings from the ’86 team.

“Sure!” he said “I get the same feeling when Seanez comes out of the bullpen that I got when Schiraldi did back then.”

Ouch. Well, history notwithstanding (the reunion and celebration of the 1986 pennant team was today), the Sox made it an even 10 wins in a row with Jon T. Lester (sounds like a badass action-hero, right?) in the driver seat. JTL gave up 2 earned and got a little wild, but he pitched pretty and got out of trouble on his own. He struck out Wright with juiced bags to end the 5th and his outing. This guy (like Beckett) is an anti-Clement. His head is immune to the bad juju or pixie dust or whatever that crap is that makes Clement suck long and hard.

Good defense (and bad base running) also helped the Sox rookie. In the 5th, with Jose Reyes on second, Beltran smacks a single into left and Reyes bolts for home. Manny throws a LONG strike to Tek and Reyes is dead to rights… but somebody forgot to tell Reyes. He hits Tek like a bug on the windshield. Jason (who Keith Hernandez called “a steel worker”) held the ball and gave the writhing Reyes a “Hey, when you regain consciousness… you’re OUT” kinda look. And finally, the recently overused bullpen (Tavarez, Hansen and Timlin) managed to be effective and except for 2 solo shots, they held the Mets off to preserve the win for Lester.

On the flip side of things, the Boston bats were brutal to the Mets rookie Alay Soler. They bashed him up for 8 runs in 4.1 innings. I guess you could say it was a Soler Eclipse (ugh… sorry). Tek got a 2 RBI hit (so did Manny thanks to a crap-tacular play by Lastings Millege) and Lowell and Gonzo went yard. Tell you the truth, Gonzo has been on FIRE as of late. He and Ortiz now share a .267 BA. That’s one of those Bizzaro World stats that you stare at and hope it changes before you flip out and start questioning reality.

All in all it was a run of the mill beat down that has become commonplace when facing the NL East this season. The only caveat was that it was against the Mets who happen to have the best record in the NL (and share some sordid history with us). Just more fuel for the “NL sucks” school of thought.

Tomorrow… Beckett vs Pedro vs chills vs thrills vs drama. Red Sox Nation agreed with my earlier rants and gave Pedro a standing ovation when they played his highlight reel today. Now I hope they do it again when he steps on the mound (and ignore the hate-mongering BDD). Do the right thing and cheer the man… and cheer again when they have to pull him after 2 innings. GO SOX!