May 16, 2004

I Heart Bronson. Let me count the ways. He threw eight scoreless innings in Toronto on Saturday. He allowed only three hits and no walks and he tied a career high with six strikeouts. ... As Jerry Remy pointed out on NESN, Arroyo was aggressive on the mound, working quickly and going right after each batter. He did not nibble: 70 of his 100 pitches were strikes. He threw more than one ball to a batter only seven times and he fell behind a batter 2-0 only once -- Frank Catalanotto in the 1st inning.

Chris Gomez tripled to begin the bottom of the third. Arroyo struck out Orlando Hudson and then got Catalanotto on a liner to shortstop and Vernon Wells on a fly to right. ... In the 4th, Carlos Delgado was hit by a pitch and, after Josh Phelps flew out to right, took third on Eric Hinske's single. Arroyo buckled down and got Simon Pond to ground into a first-pitch double play. Inning over. Arroyo then retired the next 12 hitters. ... He was unperturbed by the scoring threats and focused solely on the man at the plate. In that regard, he was the anti-Lowe.

The afternoon's other big story was the major league debut of Kevin Youkilis. He homered to deep left in his 2nd at-bat. He got the silent treatment when he returned to the dugout, so he simply high-fived some imaginary teammates before sitting down on the bench. Then he was mobbed. Youkilis got the home run ball (thanks to Pedro Martinez providing a couple of autographed baseballs to the woman who caught it) and gave it to his parents, who were sitting two rows behind the Sox dugout.

Yook is the 7th Red Sox player to hit a homer in his first big league game, following Lefty Lefebvre (June 10, 1938), Ben Steiner (April 17, 1945), Eddie Pellagrini (April 22, 1946), Merl Combs (Sept. 12, 1947), Danny Sheaffer (April 9, 1987) and Sam Horn (July 25, 1987).

Doug Mirabelli on the day's events: "If you were looking for a negative, you couldn't find one ..." Capping the afternoon was Seattle's 13-7 victory in 13 inings in the Bronx. New York had several golden chances to win the game -- bases loaded, one out, and Jeter, Rodriguez and Giambi up in the bottom of the 9th and men on second and third with Matsui and Sierra up in the 12th -- but could not "find a way to win." ... Boston is back in first place.

Stuff: "Being Nomar" (a long feature in the Globe's maagzine). ... Tim and Stacy Wakefield became parents for the first time yesterday with the 2:20 pm birth of their son. ... The Herald's Karen Guregian chatted with Manny Ramirez in the center field grass. ... Bill Mueller will be out until at least Tuesday with inflammation in his right knee. ... Gordon Edes with some background on Lenny DiNardo, including his major league debut at Yankee Stadium. "It was really fun, something I'm going to tell my grandkids about. To be in the bullpen and hear them yell, 'DiNardo, you suck.' That's something I'm going to cherish. If you don't hear that, there's something wrong."

Pedro and Halladay at 1:05 pm.

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