Friday, June 5, 2009

Swept Away

Apparently, there's nothing like a quick stop in the Motor City to right a listing ship. After blowing some winnable games in Minnesota and Toronto, the Sox got themselves straight with a three-game sweep of the Tigers. Tim Wakefield and Jason Bay were the big guns in Boston's 6-3 win yesterday afternoon, their fourth in a row.

Wakefield pretty much owns the Tigers. He beat them yesterday for the 16th time in his career; no active pitcher holds more wins over Detroit. Except for that shaky second inning where he allowed three runs, Wakes was solid. 6.2 innings with eight hits, three strikeouts and no walks. I don't quite understand why he was pulled after throwing just 81 pitches, especially since he's a knuckleballer. But it didn't affect the final outcome; Masterson and Oki looked good getting Boston to the ninth. And then Papelbon proceeded to make it interesting – putting guys on first and second and bringing the tying run to the plate – before closing it out for his 14th save of the year.

Wakefield is now 7-3 on the year, the best record of any starter on the Sox. God willing, I'll be able to do something I love at the age of 42 as well as Wakefield does on the mound. I don't see why he can't continue throwing off the mound for another 2-3 years at a minimum. He now has 171 wins with the Red Sox; another 22 and he will hold the record for most wins ever by a Red Sox pitcher. The current record of 192 is jointly held by the Roid Rocket and Cy Young. He should become the all-time leader in innings pitched before year's end. He trails Clemens by only 124.3 innings right now.

The big hit yesterday belonged to Jason Bay, whose two-run double in the third put the Sox up for good at 4-3 before Lowell and Baldelli tacked on the final two runs. The line of the day belonged to J.D. Drew, however, who went 0-1 with four walks, scored a run and got an RBI to boot. You don't see that too often.

The defense redeemed themselves after the eighth-inning debacle from Wednesday night. Two double-plays and no errors made them look like a capable unit once more. Lugo even got involved with one and didn't screw it up, a miracle that ranks slightly below Jesus turning water into wine at Cana.

The only dark spot was Youk having to leave early with tightness in the right calf that was kind of injured in Wednesday's game. It's a day-to-day thing, but maybe a night off wouldn't hurt.

And in non-game news, Ortiz is getting his eyes checked. Shouldn't this have occurred, say, a month ago? I mean, when you're the DH and Nick Green is out-hitting you, isn't that a sign that something could be wrong?

The sweep gives Boston a 6-4 record to bring back to Fenway tonight as they start a three-game set with the Rangers. Tonight it's Brad Penny and Kevin Milwood facing off in what should be a pretty even contest. But Milwood isn't at his best against the Sox (4-4, 4.46 ERA lifetime against Boston), so the Sox should have the edge tonight.

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