Highly Offensive. Manny Ramirez homered, doubled twice and drove in five runs and received a curtain call -- for his defense. (Manny was robbed of a second HR when Abreu reached over the bullpen fence in right-center in the 6th.) Ramirez ended the 7th inning by sprinting towards the left field line and diving flat-out to nab Mike Lieberthal's liner. It was an amazing catch -- one of the best of the year -- and one that I (like Pedro Martinez) didn't think he had any chance of catching. ... I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, but I am so glad Manny is still with the Red Sox. And hearing Pedro's NESN comments about being a "Bostonian" and wanting to do everything he can to stay with the Red Sox also made me very happy.
Speaking of El Rey, he was in excellent form last night. No first inning worries -- the Phillies went down in order on 10 pitches. A hit batsman (Lieberthal, 3rd inning), a single (Polanco, 4th) and a walk (Bell, 5th) were the only Philadelphia base runners in six innings. After Boston batted for 30 minutes, scoring 8 runs, in the bottom of the 6th, Pedro came out a little cold.
He allowed an opposite field home run to Thome and walked Burrell, but got the next three hitters (Manny's catch was the third out) to end his night: 7 IP, 2 H, 1R, 2 BB, 2K, 99 pitches. Now 8-3, he lowered his ERA to 3.73 -- which is actually good enough for 14th in the AL (only 18 AL pitchers have ERAs under 4.00). ... Curtis Leskanic made his debut in the 8th, retiring the Phillies in order. The game was called after a 49-minute rain delay with Boston batting in the 8th.
On Thursday, Tampa Bay beat Toronto 19-13. According to Redbird Nation: "[I]t's the first game in modern baseball history with that exact final score. There have been four 19-12 games (the most recent in 1999) and one 19-14 game (in 1930), but no 19-13 games ... If you discount games in which teams score 20 or more runs, there is now only one final score that has never been achieved in any game: 19-18. Every other score is covered."
How about if the Red Sox beat the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS by a 19-18 score? Wouldn't that be something? Of course, long before the game got to that point, I would have died from the stress. ... Arroyo/Wolf today at 1 pm.