Sunday, June 11, 2006

Games 59 - 61: Doubleheaders Are Tough

Final Scores:

Game 59: Boston Red Sox 4, Texas Rangers 7
Game 60: Boston Red Sox 5, Texas Rangers 4
Game 61: Boston Red Sox 6, Texas Rangers 13

Man, rain plays havoc with playing games, doesn’t it. As far as I can tell, here’s what happened: rain postponed the first game until today. Rather than give Beckett the start yesterday, the Sox decided to give Lester his debut last night. Lester had a pretty good start, going four and a third and giving up three runs on five hits, striking out four and walking four. His relief did not fare as well: Tavarez and Foulke gave up two runs apiece in the seventh and ninth innings, respectively and the Sox couldn’t rally. Lester’s effort might not be exactly what the Sox were expecting from their top prospect, but maybe Lester is suffering from the same nerves as David Pauley did on his first start. More on Pauley later, though.

Today, in game one, Millwood outdueled Beckett, holding the Sox to two runs over six innings, while Beckett surrendered four runs over five and a third, ending his day by surrendering a two-run homer to Kevin Mench. Fortunately for Boston, Riske and Delcarmen shut the Rangers down, while Papi came through in the clutch in the ninth and knocked an Otsuka-two-seamer into the right field bleachers for a three-run walk-off homer. With the Sox riding high on the win, the aforementioned David Pauley, riding high on his last start in New York, got the start in Game Two. Unfortunately, Pauley didn’t have the same stuff today and the Rangers saw right through his sinker, Tavarez’s fastball and Foulke’s breaking ball, racking up a record 22 hits against Red Sox pitching. John Wasdin, known to Sox fans who remember his stint with Boston as “Wayback Wasdin,” did not live up to his nickname, giving up a paltry three runs, with nary a home run to be found among them. Let’s be honest, here: it was a tough series for Boston. Fortunately, the Yankees had an even tougher series against Oakland and the Sox are now a game up on New York (and still up 2.5 games on Toronto).

Boston has the day off tomorrow before traveling to Minnesota to play the Twins. Schilling and Santana face off on Tuesday. GO SOX!!!