August 28, 2007
Less Drama, More Fun
Nine days ago, Boston's lead over New York in the AL East was down to only four games. Tonight, as the Red Sox invade Yankee Stadium for a three-game series, the margin has doubled. Aren't you glad you didn't listen to fools and go leap off the top of a tall building?
(OMG: Look at that headline!! Why do so few people know how to correctly use an apostrophe? Does the Herald employ professional editors? ... Do they even teach this shit in school anymore? How embarrassing.)
With the eight-game bulge, the series has lost a bit of urgency. Sean McAdam calls it more of An Afterthought than The Showdown. Nick Cafardo writes that "for a flickering moment, there was a race in the American League East."
Mark Feinsand of the Daily News admits this series will likely "have a different feel to it than your typical late-season New York-Boston matchup. In the Post, George King says the Yankees are "just about out of contention in the AL East and fighting for their wild-card lives".
So ... less drama for the media, but a lot of fun for us. There is very little downside in this series. A sweep would sound the death knell for the Yankees, but even if Boston drops two of the three games, New York would still be 7 GB with 28 to play.
Elsewhere: Jeff Goldberg looks back to last Friday, August 24 as the season's most pivotal day. "It began Friday at 1 p.m., with 18 innings, and ended Saturday at 3:30 a.m., in extra innings. For the Red Sox, the day brought a dominating doubleheader sweep in Chicago. For the Yankees, a demoralizing defeat in Detroit."
Mike Lowell and David Ortiz were named co-AL players of the week. Lowell batted .500 (14-for-28) with three doubles, a homer, 11 RBI and a .714 slugging percentage. Ortiz hit .478 (11-for-23) with two doubles, a triple, three homers, eight RBI and 11 runs scored. All three of his homers this weekend came on first pitches.
Rob Bradford notes that Flo is 26-for-58 (.448) with six home runs when he puts the first pitch in play. (Dustin Pedroia has the team's best first pitch average: .474 (18-38)).
Lowell loves batting in the #5 spot. "I think my mind-set works good for that. Not that it doesn't at No. 6, but I like it. I've been a 5-hole hitter a lot in my career." In 68 plate appearances in the 5-hole this season, Lowell is hitting .458/.529/.746. He has 93 RBI, the most by a Boston 3B since Butch Hobson had 112 in 1977.
Mike Timlin Appearance Meter: 998. ... The Red Sox outscored the White Sox 27-2 from the seventh inning on during their four-game series. Boston has scored a major league-best 226 runs after the sixth inning this season.
Jacoby Ellsbury extended his club-record hitting streak at Pawtucket to 23 games. ... Jon Lester pitched six inning for Portland last night, allowing one run, five hits and four walks. He struck out four as the Sea Dogs beat Trenton 5-2.
by allan at 9:14 AM