Thursday, June 29, 2006

Game 75: This One Goes To 11

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 10, New York Mets 2

Who knew the most climatic moment of the game would be Pedro coming to the mound to start the bottom of the first? Out he came from the dugout, tipping his cap even before the cheering really started, then jogged to the mound, doing his best to keep his game face going in the face of the thousands of cheers. Mike Celizic be damned; this was the home coming Pedro deserved and everyone in that park and everyone watching at home with half a brain in their heads knew it. Unfortunately for Martinez, the homecoming lasted just as long as needed: after a brain fart where Pedro neglected to use an Ortiz comebacker to the mound to start a double play, the Sox turned the first into a four-run opportunity, capping the scoring with another left field miscue by Boston secret weapon Lastings Milledge.

Pedro rallied in the second, escaping the inning without problems after hitting Mark Loretta with a pitch, but in the third the writing finally appeared on the wall: an RBI single by Nixon to score a post-double Manny, a run-scoring double play by Lowell and a two run Monster shot by Gonzalez (who seems to be playing like he’s aware of the Miggy trade rumors) spelled the end of Pedro’s night at the end of the third. Although he entered and departed each inning to a stadium full of cheers, it was certainly not Pedro’s night to pitch well: this game marks his shortest start as a Met and a missed opportunity to join the four pitchers who have beaten every team in the majors at least once. For Red Sox fans though, things couldn’t have gone much better: individual love for the man, an institutional beating for his team.

Meanwhile, Josh Beckett pitched like his game really did go to eleven. Making only two mistakes (high fastballs that ended up over the right field wall for harmless solo homers in the fourth and seventh innings), Beckett was complete gas until two thirds through the eighth, when a walk and a pitch count of 106 signaled the end of his night on his way to a well-deserved tenth win. Truth be told, a game like this one is par for the course for a man who’s owned the Mets since the start of his career (a six and two record with an ERA around 2.00), but with an overworked bullpen and a high pressure start, tonight was the night for the starter to step up like Beckett did.

So, an eleven game win streak, with a shot at the fourth sweep in a row tomorrow as Schilling tries to stop Tom Glavine’s win streak at ten games. The streak record for a professional team, by the way, is 29, set by the Single A Salt Lake Trappers, then owned by current Angels owner Arte Moreno, in 1987. Let’s see how close we can get to the title. GO SOX!!!