Scarlet Fever

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

While I Was Gone

Last night I watched the game from about the fifth or sixth inning on. This intense softball schedule has games Tuesday, Wednesday and a double-header Friday under the lights for me. Though I love softball, so many games packed into this week is coming at a bad time, because I am kind of in a hitting slump, being 0 for my last 6 with four strikeouts. This is really unusual for me and I'm really frusturated because I'm not seeing the ball well at all right now, swinging at bad pitches and watching the good ones go by. Today I'm going to go early to my game to take some batting practice, but what I really would like to do is go to the batting cages and I can't because my mom has to work.
Volleyball camp was really fun. It was scorchingly hot, and I went through three tee-shirts a day, but I had a great time and I improved a lot. Every night I called my parents for updates on the Sox, but they only gave me the score and a summary of our run-scoring plays, so it was good to come back here and read all my comments. The Sox were 2-1 while I was away, with a come-from-behind victory and a shutout, so I really can't complain.
A note that I happened to walk by a TV and see that Kansas City beat the Detroit Tigers a few days ago. That pretty much made my day. The worst team in the AL beat the best team in baseball. I love a good underdog story. Still, let's sweep them.
Now I will finally stop rambling and talk about last night. Lester was phenominal. His pitching line speaks for itself. 8 innings pitched, 1 hit, 0 earned runs, 4 strikeouts on only 100 pitches. Whatever small adjustment he made, it worked tremendously. His problems in the past were high pitch counts and having to get out of jams. Yesterday he went two innings past his old record on less pitches than it has previously taken him to get through five. Only a single batter reached second base. Lester is here to stay. He has had a huge impact on this injury-ridden starting pitchin staff, and his consistency and solidity (is that a word?) have been an enormous sigh of relief. His season numbers are astounding: 5-0 with a 2.38 ERA. The kid has hist the ground running, and it has been incredible. Juxtapose Lester's stats with those of his friend Papelbon, and you become aware of the talent we have coming up from the minors. I think I even feel more comforable with him on the mound than I do with Beckett, who as of right now has not been the lights-out co-ace we traded for, though I have faith he will soon figure out the AL and dominate again.
Our lone run scored on a RBI single by Gonzalez, knocking in Varitek who was on base via a huge wall-ball double. It appears that Tek has finally been breaking out of his slump. Crisp has been breaking out of his slump as well, though coming up with an 0 for 3 last night. However, it scares me a little how low Youkilis' batting average has dropped, as well as the slight decline in hitting from Lowell and Loretta. Youk's down to .289, far from the mid-.310's we had been seeing throughout the first half. Though he is still working full counts left and right, his plate production needs to pick up again. Lowell and Loretta, though both only a sliver under .300, were in the .320's and .310's for a very long time. A bit more hitting from the two of them is key.
Willie Harris was designated for assignment to make room for Wily Mo Pena. I just wanted to point out that the front office again shared my opinion on what to do when WMP came back. Though I suggested sending Harris down to AAA, I can understand their decision to designate him for assignment. I feel badly for Harris, but I am much more excited to have Pena back, especially because his buddy Manny's knee has been a problem. Imagine that we now have both Pena and Kapler on the bench for the outfield, Cora for the infield, and Belli for catching. That's an impressive bench.
Jermaine Van Buren was recalled from Triple A, and Javier Lopez was sent down. I was kind of impartial to this roster move because I like both guys, so either one in the 'pen works for me.
Today's game is at 1:05, so I will be watching alone or with my sister. Luckily, I get home from work at about 12:45, so I will have just enough time to get ready for Beckett. It's time for him to make up for his last start, his first subpar one at Fenway. The Royals are an easy team to beat up on. Beckett has flirted with a no-hitter several times. The Royals could be the unlucky victims.

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