Saturday, May 24, 2003

Games 47 and 48 - Red Sox

Red Sox 9, Cleveland Indians 2
Red Sox 12, Indians 3
Record: 30-18

Ladies and gentlemen, your first place Boston Red Sox. I've said all along that I don't care how the Sox make the playoffs, as long as they make the playoffs (and Pedro's healthy), but it feels damn good to look at the AL East standings and see the Sox 1.5 games up on the Yankees. Especially so given the Yankees' scorching start. (Brief digression here: where are all those people who claim that you can't measure Derek Jeter by his stats, but by how he's a winner? Interesting that the Yankees are sub-.500 since his return after setting franchise records without him. Jeter's a nice player, a really solid major league shortstop, but he's probably the most overrated player of the last 20 years.) First place on May 24 amounts to dick (in fact, the Sox were in first on May 24 last year, too), but the way they got here this year does mean something.

The offense has geared up against the pathetic Indians, scoring 11 runs in the first innings of the two games. Derek Lowe seems to have righted the ship, pitching a complete game in the 9-2 win. Nomar is mashing the ball, carrying a 24-game hitting streak during which he's slugging .650 and has raised his batting average from .248 to .310. Manny touched off a bomb in the 12-3 win, which I hope will signal an end to his dismal run. Bill Mueller is leading the AL in batting average (although he is 9 plate appearances from qualifying for the official lead), David Ortiz is hitting everything thrown to him, and Ramiro Mendoza is...well, still sucking, but if everything was sunshine and roses, where would I get my Sox angst?

One more against the Tribe, and then three in the Bronx against the reeling Yankees. That phrase, "the reeling Yankees," scares the shit out of me. Wounded animal, and all that, maybe, but more to the point, since '96 this Yankee team has shown amazing resilience and an immense capacity to just plain win games when they shouldn't. Which takes me back to my main point - I don't care how the Sox make the playoffs, as long as they do, but damn it feels good to be on top.

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