Red Sox 5, Cleveland 2. So many good things to mention tonight: Pedro Martinez (after throwing 12 extended-warmup pitches in the first inning and failling behind 2-0) shut down Cleveland on only one hit through six innings. He allowed no outfield outs until the last out in the 6th -- which was good, because the outfield of McCarty-Kapler-Millar scared me. ... Manny Ramirez, with a picture-perfect swing, belted a game-tying home run to right in the 6th inning. I love watching him hit. ... Whoever kidnapped Pokey Reese and was wearing his uniform doubled and tripled. ... Kevin Millar went 4-4 -- four hard singles to left. ... The Boston bullpen began the game with a MLB-best ERA of 2.17 -- and Alan Embree and Keith Foulke tossed two more shutout innings.
Were Pedro and Varitek trying out some new gameplan to eschew strikeouts and simply get outs in the fewest amount of pitches? If so, it was working and they should keep it up. Pedro's pitches: 16-6-8 10-19-10 24 = 93. And still, Martinez struck out a season-high 8 batters, to move past Rick Langston and Jim Kaat into 28th place all-time. ... CC Sabathia did not walk or strike out a batter in his 6.2 innings. ... Why does David McCarty consistently swing like he's hitting popups with a fungo bat? ... Johnny Damon came off the bench to pinch-run for David Oriz in the 8th. Manny took a called strike and Damon measured Rick White's move. Damon stole second on the next pitch and then raced around to score as Manny singled on the 1-1 pitch.
The Red Sox head back to Boston to face the Royals. And about 200-250 SoSH members (including me) will be in the right field boxes on Saturday afternoon, cheering fellow poster Curt Schilling on to victory.