Monday, June 05, 2006

Games 53 & 54: A Tale Of Two Pitchers

Final Score:

Game 53: Boston Red Sox 2, Detroit Tigers 6
Game 54: Boston Red Sox 8, Detroit Tigers 3

Truly, this weekend was the best of times and the worst of times, a time when two pitchers of markedly different success and reputation experienced such differing results as to try the mind and the heart.

On Saturday, Tim Wakefield, the storied pitcher, the Teflon man, the knuckleballer who has secured his place as a beloved figure in Red Sox history through years of hard work and self-sacrifice went to the mound and did what he’s done pretty much every outing this year: he gave up three runs over seven innings. And, of course, the Red Sox offense did what they’ve done pretty much every time Wakefield pitches: they scored two runs or less. Once again, one of Boston’s most consistent pitchers, the man who led the team in wins in ’05 and who should certainly be up there this year picked up the loss, seeing his record fall to 4 and 7.

On Sunday, Matt Clement, scapegoat extraordinaire, the Glue man, the pitcher with the crazy movement on his pitches who seems to melt down at the first opportunity did what he’s only done a few times this year and hasn’t done recently: he shut down the Tigers over six innings, surrendering a paltry three runs on three hits. Clement retired the first nine batters he faced and left the game three pitches into the seventh after Varitek made an executive decision that his pitcher had thrown enough for the day. The Sox offense, of course, did what they typically do for Clement: they scored lots of runs for him. The day’s tally included four homers (Ortiz, Manny, Youk and Gonzo) and a string of hit batsmen and walks in the eighth that led to three runs and a Jim Leyland meltdown/ejection at home plate that had shades of Lou Pinella greatness in its furor.

With the series win in hand, the Sox head to the Bronx tonight to start a four game set versus the Yankees. Josh Beckett takes the ball tonight against Mussina; Robin will be in attendance (lucky bastard) and will favor your readership tomorrow with another one of his special on-scene reports. GO SOX!!!