Scarlet Fever

A teenage girl's perspective on the Red Sox and everything else.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Back to Back

Yesterday's game and Tuesday's were practically mirror images. Both wins were pitched entirely by young guns no older than 26 years of age. Both were started by phenominal young hurlers who pitched eight shutout innings. Both starters lowered their ERA's considerably: Lester from 2.89 to 2.38, and Beckett from 5.12 to 4.78, a huge decrease for a game this late in the season. Both games were closed out by the spectacular rookie. Both games had the final score of 1-0.
Beckett yesterday was everything that we traded for. The intensity, the focus, the heat, and the unstoppable pitching. He had the tiny margin of a one-run advantage the entire game, and he kept it, only getting himself into one real jam. After being the last team in MLB to get a shutout, Becket led the BoSox to their third in six games. He recorded a strikeout in every inning except the first. Into the eight inning he was still throwing 96 miles an hour. He earned his 12th win through possibly his best performance of the year, and he was rewarded with a 3-year contract extension. I am excited for this team's future with him at the top of our rotation.
From a hitting perspective, we were pretty quiet. Had it not been for a solo homer by Manny, we would have been headed once again for extra innings. However, I'm not worried. We won by the same margin that the Yankees lost by, and that's pretty nice. It says so much about our pitching staff to be able to hold on to such a slim lead. It doesn't matter if we won 1-0 or 17-0, it was a win. I say, let's save our run support for a day when our pitcher isn't doing well. Then we can win that game too. Gonzalez had a single in the 8th, keeping alive a new hitting streak of five games. Mirabelli also has a 5-gamer, extended by a single yesterday, and it seems his hitting is coming around. That would be huge. Loretta had two hits, and though Crisp didn't get any hits, he has been showing more plate patience. He worked a 10-pitch at-bat in the second before striking out with a full count. Youkilis had a tough game. I have no doubts that he'll come around, but he had two strikeouts before grounding into a controversial double play. I'd love for him to get hot again at the top of the order. Finally, I loved Ortiz's bunt down the third base line. I always say that he should do it. He basically could have walked down to first base. There was no one anywhere near his bunt. I love him working with the shift!
Manny also had a very impressive catch in left. His fielding has really been clean this year. And his friend Wily Mo Pena is quite a character. I can definately see him being a huge fan favorite like Ortiz in a few years: huge power, great smile, and a sense of humor. Yesterday the cameras showed him in the dugout twice. Once he grabbed Cora's shoulders and he made him wave at the camera, and once he was standing up doing the wave by himelf after Manny's catch. He is too funny.
Schill today. I am hoping to watch the game, or most of it. My brother is having a pool party with all his friends, and I might be playing volleyball with them in the front yard, but I'll have to see.

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