Sunday, August 05, 2007

Game 111: Putting the Boots to Them, Medium Style

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 9, Seattle Mariners 2

What's the best way to celebrate the little comeback from the dead that was yesterday's game? How about a no holds barred, full-scale beatdown, cementing what I can only hope is the start of a long run of wins (or at least some .500 baseball) at Safeco Field for the Old Towne Team. Cuz that nine in a row crap, that was ridiculous.

Actually, it was almost the beatdown that wasn't. Boston scored early, it's true, notching two runs in the first thanks to some good hitting, a fielding error and a pitcher who took somewhere in the area of 10 million pitches to settle down and get three outs. But the Sox, who continue to do a much better job of putting men on base (2nd in OBP) than they do driving them in (5th in runs scored), played a game of cat and mouse with Seattle that went on for long enough to keep the game more than a little tense. We're talking 13 men left on base here, eight men coming to the plate in the first, one squandered bases loaded opportunity in the second, etc. Ultimately less frustrating than it could be, of course, because we finally saw the true underside of the Mariners: the bad side of their bullpen.

Over six innings, Seattle starter Miguel Batista gave up two earned runs. In half that time, his bullpen nearly tripled that figure, in a 'round the order slug fest that brought a minimum of six Red Sox to the plate in each inning. It seriously felt like being the kid who finally stands up to the bully and beats him to a bloody pulp because he can't stop hitting him. By the end of the game, every starter had touched base; four guys combined for five doubles and Big Papi, who's on a tear, picked up a hit, three walks and two runs. He even stole a base, just to add insult to injury. I'm just hoping all of this domination establishes a precedent that extends not only to the rest of this trip, but to future trips to the Seattle area. It's time the West Coast was fun again.