Vernon Wells continues to destroy Red Sox pitching. In 10 games against Boston this year, Wells is 18-for-45 (.400) with eight home runs and 17 RBI. (Against Josh Beckett, he is 6-for-12 with four homers.)
After his third home run last night, he received what he said (although I find it hard to believe) was his first curtain call:
I didn't know what I was doing. I just went out and tried to do what I see people on TV doing.It was a muggy night at Skydome and the roof was open. In my three previous games, the roof had been closed. Because the GO trains leave only once an hour, we left the game in the middle of the eighth. That's usually the unforgiveable baseball sin to me, but we really didn't want to wait around Union Station for an entire hour. So I "missed" Wells's third shot.
Down 7-5 in the top of the eighth, Manny Ramirez (celebrating his 34th birthday) batted with runners at first and third, but Justin Speier struck him out. BJ Ryan came in to face Jason Varitek and throughly overmatched him, fanning him on three pitches. (If Boston had tied the game or taken the lead, we would have stayed.)
Chris Snow notes that if Manny retired today, he'd be one of only six players ever to hit .310 or better with at least 400 homers and 1,400 RBIs. The others: Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial and Jimmie Foxx.
Snow also says that it was three years ago yesterday -- May 30, 2003 -- that David Ortiz joined the Red Sox lineup on a full-time basis. Who could have possibly imagined what would transpire in those three seasons... In that time, Ortiz ranked tops in the majors in RBIs (416), ahead of Albert Pujols (387) and Ramirez (377), second in extra-base hits (263) and homers (131), behind Pujols (279, 141), fourth in slugging (.604), after Barry Bonds (.753), Pujols (.657), and Ramirez (.608), and fifth in doubles (126). Ortiz: "That's how we roll."
Since signing with the Sox, Matt Clement has pitched 12 games against the Yankees and Blue Jays, allowing 76 hits and 41 walks in only 58.2 innings and posting a 8.13 ERA.
Puke Alert. Rob Parker and Tom Gage of the Detroit News have a chat:
Gage: And what a week it should be with the Yankees in town, followed by the Red Sox. First of all, which is the better team? ...
Parker: I still think the Yankees are better. As long as they have Derek Jeter on that squad, I'll always think they're a better team. I know, I know, their pitching hasn't been what it should be, but they're hovering around first, they haven't even caught fire yet.
Gage: With that rotation, can they catch fire?
Parker: I'm not sure, but they will get pitching help before it's all over. Of that, I'm certain.
Off to Skydome! ... Beckett / Chacin, 7 PM.