Monday, June 25, 2007

Games 73 and 74: The Epic Journey

Final Scores:

Game 73: Boston Red Sox 1, San Diego Padres 6
Game 74: Boston Red Sox 4, San Diego Padres 2

Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you. Sometimes these games are just a cultural disaster and there's nothing you can do but shake your head and wonder about Petco's reputation as a pitcher's park - is it some sort of rumor designed to lull you into a false sense of security, like the pool hall shark who tells you he's not very good before he takes all of your money? Seems like the case for Wakefield on Saturday, as his baffling pitch hung in the air and invited whacks - eight hits in all - and scores - all six runs - in the total opposite of its usual function and intended result. In other words: nine mile per hour winds out to right field don't make a floater bob and weave. The Sox suffered the result, even as they gifted Padres pitcher Chris Young with eleven strikeouts and the win over seven innings.

Sunday afternoon and fans are abuzz: the victory of the series hangs in the balance and each team's winningest pitcher would take the mound: Beckett for Boston, Peavy for San Diego. Truly a battle for the ages in the making, if not one that played out on the mound: Peavy left after five innings, nine hits and three runs, his pitch count at 111 and his effort wasted. Meanwhile, Josh Beckett, like a king of Sparta (the last Ron Burgundy joke, I promise), pitched balls nasty and godlike strong - the only way a king of Sparta would pitch, of course - throwing eight innings and striking out eight. Save for Paps on a perfect ninth and voila: Josh Beckett has more wins than any other pitcher in the majors, halfway to a (dare I say it?) 20+ win season.

Thus the weekend, which passed through a turn of tragedy and redemption, a progression from hubris to downfall to rise in triumph, covered in glory and a strong Interleague record. Tonight the season journey continues in Seattle (Again? Ugh.), with the JT Killer looking to improve his already impressive June with another win. Go Sox!