September 7, 2003

Where is Roger? ... In the Shower! On Friday, Pettitte couldn't finish the 3rd inning. Yesterday, Clemens was pulled after facing 9 batters in the 4th. That inning was both relentless and beautiful:

Walker singled to right.
Garciaparra (bcbftt) homered to left, Walker and Garciaparra scored.
Ramirez (cf) singled to left, fielded by LF
Ortiz safe at first on SS's fielding error, Ramirez to second.
Millar singled to left, Ramirez scored, Ortiz to third, Millar out in rundown 72434.
Nixon (bbsbc) walked.
Mueller singled to left, fielded by LF, Ortiz scored, Nixon to second.
Mirabelli (bcbfb) walked, Nixon to third, Mueller to second.
Damon (bbbccf) singled to left, Nixon scored, Mueller to third, Mirabelli to second.
Hammond relieved Clemens.
Walker hit sacrifice fly to right, Mueller scored, Mirabelli to third.
Garciaparra (ff) fouled out to first.

"Harry Agganis" of SoSH at 11:53 am re: cheering Clemens: "I'll be giving him a standing O as he leaves in the fourth with his tail between his legs." ... Wow! Nice call.

Some New York writers have compared Boston's offense attack to Anaheim's 2002 World Series-winning club. The Angels made contact, rarely striking out, and their many hits led to long, sustained rallies. It's a good comparision. In 2003, only 7 teams have struck out fewer times than Boston (Anaheim's batters again have the fewest Ks). But compared to the Angels, the Red Sox are getting more hits, are on base more often and are scoring way more runs.

Anaheim hit .282/.341/.433 last year and scored 851 runs. After drubbing the Yankees yesterday, Boston's run total stands at 861 -- 10 more than Anaheim -- and the Red Sox still have 21 games remaining. Their team averages are .292/.362/.497, all of which are the best in baseball. In fact, their .496 slugging percentage is .038 better than Texas and .022 better than Atlanta and is higher than the all-time mark of .489 set by the 1927 Yankees.

After Todd Walker (!) belted a 3-run home run in the 8th, Boston led 11-0 and the game was history. Literally. The last time Boston posted a double-digit shut-out of New York (April 23, 1919), Yankee Stadium didn't exist. That Opening Day game was played in Manhattan's Polo Grounds. The Red Sox, led by pitcher Carl Mays and an inside-the-park home run by Babe Ruth, won 10-0.

Last 4 Yankee batters: Luis Sojo, Michel Hernandez, Drew Henson and Fernando Seguignol - all making their first plate appearances of the year.

Tony Massarotti: "Martinez, Garciaparra, Ramirez, Nixon, Varitek and Lowe. … [P]rioritize them in reverse order, putting the most dispensable at the top. If Manuel Aristides Ramirez isn't first on your lineup card, then we are willing to bet that you are in an excruciatingly small minority." … This fan says Lowe, Varitek and Nixon are more dispensable than Manny.

Damon: "We feel confident. We feel this is ours for the taking." … Theo! … Projo: "The New York Yankees clubhouse was quiet. The players were in hiding." … Howard Bryant in a Herald pay column: "The Yankees are on fumes. The chaos in the Apple is palpable. George Steinbrenner wants to fire everyone, as if what we are witnessing is sudden and unexplainable. What the Yankees are experiencing … is the final wheezing of a dynasty." … People are using the M word. … Joel Sherman: "We may be witnessing The New York Blackout - when a power surge from Boston wiped out the last of the Yanks' flickering energy." ... NYDN: "All signs point to this being a seminal autumn in New England."

Is the panic in the papers calculated to make the Yankees look like underdogs and/or to build Boston up so they can be called huge chokers if they don't make the playoffs? Who cares? I'm going to enjoy it. ... NY Post: "There is no bigger game than today's." I agree. There's a huge difference between ½-game and 2½ games; Grady should manage today like it's Game 7 (god knows what that would look like). ... Wells/Suppan at 1pm.

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