April 5, 2006

G3: Red Sox 2, Rangers 1

Red Sox - 000 000 200 - 2  6  0
Rangers - 100 000 000 - 1 9 0

Josh Beckett had a rough 3+ innings -- six hits, one walk, one wild pitch, 81 pitches through four innings -- but he trailed only 1-0. He pulled it together midway through the fourth, and ended up retiring 12 of his last 13 batters, throwing 6-10-12 pitches in his final three frames.

Kameron "Cy" Loe got almost nothing but groundball outs until Manny Ramirez walked to start the 7th and Trot Nixon followed with a home run to right.

Mike Timlin had a very shaky eighth -- and didn't allow the tying run only because of the supreme idiocy of the Rangers' third base coach. He sent Mark Teixeira from second on a bullet single to left field by Kevin Mench. Teixeira hesitated around the bag -- although the coach was waving him around the entire time -- and he was out easily at the plate, Manny-Lowell-Varitek. Sveumed!

Then, with three outs to go, Terry Francona went with Jonathan Papelbon, not Keith Foulke. In fact, I don't think Foulke ever warmed up. Gutsy move, but it paid off. Pap pitched like a man possessed, working quickly, throwing 93-95 with pinpoint control. He got Texas in order: strikeout, pop to short, strikeout. Very, very impressive.

Fact: Foulke is in no way our best option in the 9th -- Papelbon is. Big tip of the cap to Tito for (not only realizing that in his own mind, but) putting it into effect immediately. Foulke is still part of the pen, but perhaps he's a 6th-7th-8th inning guy instead. We shall see.

6:15 PM: Mike Timlin -- the only player not to have seen action in the first two games -- should pitch tonight. Lineups.

3:00 PM: In his first at-bat this afternoon, Bronson Arroyo hit his first career home run, a solo shot on an 0-2 pitch, and got credit for the win as the Reds beat the Cubs 8-6. His line: 6.2-6-5-3-0-7.

Previews: Red Sox and Rangers. 8:00 PM.


BlackJack said...

Seeing Beckett settle down was very nice. Was it just me, or did he start listening to Tek more right around the same time he started pitching better? Remy made a comment early on (2nd inning I think) that Beckett was shaking Tek off on almost every pitch. I wasn't paying quite as close attention to it later in the game but it seemed like there was a little more agreement on pitch selection after the 4th.

Jack Marshall said...

What really showed was Beckett's presence and intensity. Can anyone doubt that this guy is special? He is one of those pitchers who has "ace" written all over him. And the difference between the Sox defense (what a relay play!)and the bumbling Yankees last night (with Damon opening the floodgates with one of his patented mis-timed leaps) was striking.

Meanwhile, speaking of starting pitchers' demeanor on the mound, was anyone surprised at the revelation that Derek Lowe has Attention Deficit Syndrome?

Zenslinger said...

I was in my local bar yesterday after work to watch most of this game. It was packed with about 25 alocholics in Yankee caps getting ready to get on a chartered bus loaded with beer to go across the Bay Bridge to Oakland for their game. Most of them are good-natured about the minority Sox following in the bar, and I ran into the fellow I met during the NFL playoffs who bet me Schilling wouldn't get 12 wins this year. I showed him the blue post-it with the ten dollar bet and both our signatures on it and he laughed and said he must have been very drunk.

After they left the few of us left barked with savage glee at Nixon's homer. And even though it came to naught, watching Coco tear around the bases into third was a hoot.

Later I howled with pleasure at Frank Thomas's three-run double that put the Yankees away. Let them pay three of their fellas $20m+. Let them blow teams out 15-2 -- it will probably happent to us -- but let them choke on the close ones. The Yanks will win their share of games this year, if they're lucky, but it will all be wihtout an ounce of grace. We have a balanced team, and we have a future.

Go Sox.