Sunday, May 18, 2008

Games 44 and 45: Welcome Back, Kapler

Game 44: Final Score: Boston Red Sox 5, Milwaukee Brewers 3
Game 45: Final Score: Boston Red Sox 7, Milwaukee Brewers 6

Two days after the beatdown in Baltimore, the BoSox returned the fray finally sporting what they'd needed for days: a full complement of players and staff. Drew was back, Coco was back, Francona was back, and the Sox celebrated their return - and the return of beloved utility player made manager made starter Gabe Kapler - with an old fashioned run scoring slug fest, scoring five of their twelve runs with multi-score home runs from Papi (Game 1) and Lowell (Game 2). Dice-K pitched well, Wakefield pitched well enough, the bullpen was the bullpen, and Mike Timlin surprised us all by getting the Brew Crew on three ground balls to end the nightcap. All well and good, and certainly enough to get the Sox back on track and in the running back into the AL East.

What wasn't so good: the defense. In game one, Youkilis finally committed an error...but he was playing third, not first, so the streak stands. In game two, things got ugly, with a Lowell throwing error and fielding errors by Cora and Lopez to remind us that eight straight hours of baseball isn't really a good idea. Of course, Boston's putrid defense - which led to an odd situation where Craig Hansen loaded the bases and blew a save without it (for once) being entirely his fault - looked positively rot free compared to that of Milwaukee: five errors over the two games.

Still, for all of the shaky relief and shakier defense, the Sox accomplished the oh-so-difficult task of taking two in a double header, and come into today poised for their first interleague sweep in 2008. As long as the bats keep going, there shouldn't be any reason why Boston shouldn't win today, right?