A win is a win. 2.5.
Schilling was superb (8-5-1-0-6), Ortiz and Manny both drove in three runs and the game was a blow-out before Keith Foulke tossed some ugly BP in the ninth (including, yup, a Show Pony 2-run shot into the Monster Seats, which cut the score from 9-1 to 9-3; that's clutch, baby!).
Schilling allowed only five hits -- and three of them came with two outs in the third inning, which led to one run. The other hits were singles in the fifth and seventh.
One note on ESPN: Good god, they suck. Dave O'Brien and Rick Sutcliffe all but declared the Red Sox season over in the first inning when third base coach DeMarlo Hale did not send Mark Loretta from second on Manny Ramirez's single to short left. It turns out that Terrence Long overran the ball, but Hale could not have known that, and should not have expected it.
The ESPN guys said over and over how the Red Sox had blown the play, how their fans were "stunned" at the run not scoring and how the club had egg on their faces. ... And yet every intelligent person would have seen that Hale had made the correct call -- Long touched the ball well before Loretta reached third base, he was charging it and the play was in shallow left -- at Fenway. Not a long throw home, in other words.
The only reason I could see why Sox fans were "stunned" at the decision is that our old third base coach would have waved him in no matter what. And while stunned (perhaps), we were also thankful our 3B coach had a brain.
By the way, once Boston had taken the lead -- it turned out their season was not in jeopardy, after all -- and Hale wisely held runners at third on two occasions in the third and seventh innings, which lead to Manny Ramirez driving both of them in, both O.B. and Sut said absolutely nothing.
There was also some sweet fielding. A 6-4-3 DP ended the fifth as Alex Cora (who also went 3-for-4) moved to his right, gloved the ball and threw to second off-balance, Loretta turned a tough pivot and Kevin Youkilis scooped the ball out of the dirt. Yook also started a nifty 3-6-3 DP to end the seventh.
Curt Schilling (4.17 ERA) has been in a slump, allowing six home runs and 11 runs in his last two starts. On May 10, Schilling gave up eight hits and six runs over five innings to the Yankees -- Boston's only loss to New York in four games this year. He has been studying tape of his performances in the 2001 World Series in preparation for what he called "Super Bowl Monday". Schilling does have a 2.14 ERA in three home starts.
In his last two starts, Chien-Ming Wang (3.79 ERA) has allowed three runs (two earned) in 16 innings against Oakland and Texas. On May 1, Wang pitched five innings (5-6-3-4-0). Boston won that game 7-3. ... Manny Ramirez (4-for-7) and Ortiz (4-for-6) have done well against Wang.
The tabloids can be so mean.