Thursday, August 09, 2007

Game 114: Finding Ways to Win

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 9, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6

This looked like it was going to be a game I tell my therapist about when I finally have my Sox induced psychotic break. Instead, it turned into a game I want to tell my children about… when I create them out off old jerseys and baseball cards during my psychotic break.

The score went back and forth so often, it seemed like it was keeping up with my pacing around the room. Lester looked pretty bad (more on him later) and the Sox offence was doing its typical anemic squander mumbo-jumbo it’s been doing lately… until everyone remembered how to hit at the same time. In the 4th the Sox came back with a 4 run inning on 3 doubles and a whole lot of smiles from the crowd at Fenway west (I’m not sure I even saw any Angels fans there). Then Lester and the constantly mediocre Tavarez gave the lead right back… and then the Sox came back… and then Timlin gave up the tying run… and then Pedroia went deep… urrrp! Excuse me. I got sea sick again just thinking about this rocking boat.

Anyway, just when you figured that the score could go either way, the Sox finally unleashed a weapon I hope makes some regular appearances. The “Oki, Gagne, Paps” combo is devastating to other teams. Call it the 6 inning game. If you don’t have the lead in the 6th… you won’t have the lead EVER. When you see these guys it’s like the Death Star blowing up, the Titanic sinking and Harold and Kumar getting to White Castle… the show is OVER… file out in an orderly fashion. It is always worth staying up to the wee hours just to see those 3 guys in action. Well, that and the fact that for the first time since I-have-no-idea-when the Sox managed to put up some late inning insurance.

The offence was firing, the bullpen was hot and the Sox won to prevent the sweep and regain a 6 game lead over the Yanks. So why am I still unhappy?

Something about this game didn’t sit well with me and it’s a feeling I had before during the first game in the Seattle series. I am hesitant to bring this up for fear of being unpopular, but here goes:

Maybe Jon Lester isn’t that good…

Now hear me out before you get your torches and pitchforks. Lester throws a TON of pitches and very often none of them are strikes. He never goes late into games and he always looks like he’s two batters away from getting creamed. I know he does the Houdini act to get out of those jams and I know he is only the 5th starter and I even know that this guy is a hero who beat cancer… but he really hasn’t looked good out there. Look, I’m not giving up on the guy and I think a bunch more starts will be good for him… I just don’t think he makes a playoff start or anything like that.

Maybe he’s green, and maybe he’s rusty, but I hope we don’t have to depend on him to go the distance when it counts. I don’t think he’s ready.