Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Final Score: Boston Red Sox 6, Minnesota Twins 5
I'll admit it: before the bottom of the eighth inning, I was going to write a post about how, all things considered, it was a better thing than not that Jon Lester matched Matsuzaka's total from last night by pitching seven and a third innings. Sure, there's the whole matter of the four runs and the man left on base who became run number five, the dangerous lack of offense and the looming possibility of a loss that would squander the opportunity to gain more ground on Tampa Bay were all concerns, but I was feeling stoic. Or stupid, I'm not sure which.
Anyway, no worries on that score, eh? One moment it's Matt "The Warrior" Guerrier on the mound, looking fierce and trying to kill a rally in the making, the next Drew's dribbling in a run and Manny's smacking the long bomb and grinning like Sylvester after a post-Tweety gourmet. First pitch, high fastball, by the way. I believe the phrase you're looking for is, "a storm's a brewin'." Particularly exciting for me, but for some reason I thought of Guerrier as a formidable pitcher, particularly against the Sox. His average of two runs per inning lifetime against Boston says otherwise, however.
And then Papelbon - oh, dear Papelbon, with your Cinco-Ocho sneakers and your gameface, which looks so very much like a trout possessed by a demon - well he was pretty much balls nasty, too. Really, if you're ever going to crush a team's morale and make them regret playing small ball, giving up a leadoff double before recording three outs - including the wasted out on the bunt - is the way to go.
By the way, I guess the Sox really are serious about making Masterson into the setup man of the future: Theo's not particularly excited about the idea of cleaning out the farm to get a well-known reliever. I certainly have no problem with that idea - I was talking the situation over with a friend of mine recently and I couldn't come up with a player I'd want to trade just to get that edge - but I (still) think the move to be made is for long relief; a veteran - off the waiver wire, perhaps, or through channels that don't require any particular sacrifice - who can fill a backup role and serve as a role model for all of the kids that Epstein's pinning his hopes on. Someone like Mike Timlin, I guess, but with less wear and tear and able to pitch more than an inning every fifteen days.