Friday, May 22, 2009

Bye-Bye Blue Jays

There is nothing quite like a clean sweep of a division leader to boost the spirits. And after yesterday's 5-1 torching of the Jays, Boston finds themselves only a half-game out of first. Thank God they're at Fenway, where they have an AL-leading 16-4 record. The road record...the less said about 9-12, the better.

The big news was Jon Lester bouncing back from two dreadful performances to give Boston 6 1/3 strong innings. He scattered eight hits and gave up just one run off a single in the seventh. That's the fifth quality start in a row for Boston, and they have gone 4-1 in those games. That performance also made life easier on the bullpen. Ramirez came out for his usual stellar work; 1.2 innings, two hits, no runs and two strikeouts. Then Paps finished the ninth with just one hit allowed. Both these guys have ERAs under 1.00, and Ramirez has a WHIP under 1.00 as well. This pairing is a devestating endgame combo for Boston.

The hitting wasn't atrocious, but the Sox were outhit 11-7 by the Jays. Luckilly, the Sox made those hits count. The difference maker was a homer from, you guessed it, Jason Bay. His two-run shot in the first put the Sox up 3-0 and basically settled the game right there. It was also his only hit of the night. Interesting note; Bay has yet to hit a solo shot this year, which explains why he is second in the AL with 44 RBI. Hell, if he maintains this production then Bay is looking like the MVP for 2009. He tracks right now for 51 homers, 174 RBI and 170 runs scored over the course of the season. That likely won't happen, but provided Bay stays injury-free (*knocking on big pieces of wood*) he should eclipse the 30 homer, 100 RBI plateau we all assigned him.

Youk got it done as well, going 1-3 with an RBI single. He is still batting over .400 (.402) right now and looking every bit as good as he did last year. And Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 16 games while scoring two runs and stealing a base. Ellsbury is getting it done in the leadoff position now. We need a nickname for him but nothing immediately pops in my mind. I mean, I have nothing.

And now we come to interleague play and a visit from the Mets. I'll let you in on a secret; I hate the Mets. Not a Yankees-level kind of hate. And I'd want the Mets to run the table on every other AL team they play. But I freaking hate the Mets. Not only because of 1986, but because they beat the Sox 1-0 in a game I took my dad to on June 6, 1998. Wakefield pitched eight innings and gave up just one hit and one walk. So how did the Mets score? On the most B.S. balk call in the history of the sport. Terry Craft was, and is, a moron for making that call.

Anyway, we get to see the former Twin Johan Santana go up against the re-habbed Daisuke. This could be...interesting. Santana has been average against the Sox over his career. And Daisuke can either baffle a team or give away runs like he was getting paid for it. We could see a tight game or a run-fest. But it should be a good game. I think where Boston has the edge is in the bullpen. Sure, the Mets have F-Rod and Putz. But after that the pen gets light for them. Boston's depth could be the deciding factor in this game, and the series. That and the fact that the Mets' apparently play defense like my son's T-Ball team.

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