It's not often you get to see a club record broken. So to watch Ellsbury steal his 55th base and break a 36-year old single-season record was pretty amazing. Sort of anti-climactic, though. We wait these few days, he gets a double to start the game and then steals third. Damn thing practically snuck up on me.
But it is a great achievement by Ellsbury. Now the trick is to get to 60 stolen bases. Maybe even 70? Ellsbury isn't even in his prime yet. Imagine how good he'll be at stealing bases in two years.
That stolen base was just the icing on a great night for Ellsbury. He went 3-5 with a run scored and an RBI. The only other batter who had a comparable night was V-Mart, who came off the bench in the seventh to pinch-hit for Alex Gonzalez, drove in Nick Green to tie the game and then drove him in again in the eighth with a double. Martinez ended up going 2-2 with a run scored and two RBI.
Jason Bay continues his march to 30/100 and beyond. He hit a solo shot last night - his 28th of the year - and racked up his 89th RBI of the season. It ended up being the game winning RBI as it put the Sox ahead to stay at 4-3.
Jon Lester actually pitched a pretty decent game: 6.2 innings, three runs on four hits and six strikeouts against two walks. Unfortunately, Lester gave up two of those runs in the seventh to give Chicago a 3-2 lead at the time and he had to come out. Oki came on to close out the seventh and start the eighth. He loaded the bases before getting two outs. Then Delcarmen came in to get Alex Rios to end the inning. That was enough for Delcarmen to get the win after the Sox unloaded for three runs in the eighth. Then Papelbon came on in the ninth to rack up his 30th save. It was a good inning for Paps, marred only by a double from Podsednik. But he's been hitting the ball off of everyone lately so you can't fault Paps for that.
Speaking of Papelbon, he's not nearly as defensive about Gagne 2.0 coming to Boston now as he was a few days ago. Hell, he's downright giddy.
"We're excited to have him, and hopefully he'll help us win a championship," Papelbon said before tonight's game against the White Sox. "We'll get along great. I know we will. I'm looking really forward to seeing how he works and maybe picking up a couple of things from him."
Ummm...yeah. Like how to suck in the post-season? No offense, Paps, but that is one lesson I don't want you learning from Gagne 2.0 while he's here. You have a ring; he doesn't. You are only the second closer in major league history to save 30 or more games in your first four seasons. We know Theo had a "talk" with you and now you're playing the good soldier. That's fine. But do not take any advice from a guy who turned two clubhouses against him.
The rumor is that Chris Carter is one of the "players to be named later" headed towards the Mets in this deal. I was worried it may be someone better. Carter is one of those 1B/OF/DH guys who can swing a bat but whose fielding is....well, let's be kind and say "suspect". If this is the level of the players going back to New York, then I can calm down a little. What made that Gagne deal so insufferable is that David Murphy went over to Texas and is an established starter now. And in return we got a ton of crap. My question is what do the Mets think they are going to do with Carter? Unless the DH rule comes to the NL, I can't see him taking a roster spot.
And for you trivia buffs, moving Carter to the Mets now means that the Sox turned Wily Mo Pena and cash into Billy Wagner. And if everything comes off right next year, he turns into two draft picks. Now, THAT part I like about the deal. I just wish we didn't have Gagne 2.0 screwing up the clubhouse in the process.
And I will say this: if I am wrong about Wagner, I will publicly and freely admit it.
Tonight it's Gavin Floyd for Chicago and for Boston it's the return of Tim Wakefield. He's looking good coming off those rehab stints. If he can pick up where he left off, I think Boston fans will breathe a little easier.
Oh, and as for all of this "We have to root for the Yankees because they'll beat the Rangers" crap...are you f-ing kidding me?? Are you people giving up already?? The Yankee lead is six games. Both teams have 37 games left, including three head-to-head in New York. Who says the Sox can't make up six games? As long as the Sox keep winning, I say let the Yankees crash and burn against Texas, Tampa Bay or whoever. The rest will take care of itself. Rooting for the Yankees...Jesus wept.