Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Game 29: Lightening Strikes Twice

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 2, Toronto Blue Jays 1

Who would have thought Toronto and Boston - or heck, any two teams - could have played the same game twice in two days? Or that Boston could end up winning both games the exact same way? The two sides might have traded off the youth and experience of their starting pitchers between games, and the score ended up two runs (and one blown save) higher on the second night, but for all intents and purposes this game was anyone's game until the last seconds, when Manny, Rod Barajas, and an off-line throw from center field all missed their intersection and formed a near-miss date with destiny.

Speaking of dates with destiny, Daisuke Matsuzaka should be the third Red Sox pitcher in eight years to go 5 and 0 before the end of April. Too bad the bullpen blew it again, squandering a Big Papi just-barely (the wind was not helpful tonight) home run into the right field seats. Once again, Manny Delcarmen was (mainly) to blame; in fourteen appearances this year, there's only been three times where the formerly much-vaunted MDC has not allowed a base runner, and he's now got a fifty percent failure rate when it comes to allowing a run to score. Something has to be going on; there's no good reason why a guy who broke out such stellar stuff last year should fall off track so quickly.

Anyway, what blows my mind about this game is not so much that the Sox won it - because you can't give this offense five base runners in two innings and not expect something to happen - but that it was very nearly Jed Lowrie who ended up jumping into the arms of his teammates, celebrating a successful walk-off run home, instead of Manny, and on the play before they won! Back to back singles to the same part of center, back to back throws home: one nails the runner, one misses by a few feet, and one team ends up - once again - with the win.