Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Game 105 - Red Sox

Red Sox 14, Rangers 7
Record: 63-42

Mercy. That's what I exclaimed and what the Rangers pitching staff begged for after giving up three homeruns (including two grand slams) to Bill Mueller. Trot Nixon and Nomar added taters for the Sox to run the total for the game to 5. It bears repeating, but this offense is just sick. I can't imagine what must go through the minds of opposing pitchers when they have to face a lineup that's slugging .501. Top to bottom, this may go down as the best offense ever - at the very least it's in the conversation.

While Mueller Time was in full swing, the Sox added another arm to the bullpen, prying stud reliever Scott Williamson from the Reds for strong prospect Phil Dumatrait and the proverbial PTBNL. At the risk of jinxing things, the bullpen has now been completely transformed from glaring weakness to dominant door-shutter. The Sox are now in a position to close out any game after the 5th inning. The last problem that remains is getting to that point in the game with question marks in the 4 and 5 slots in the rotation.

If the Sox fill that void with Livan Hernandez or Javier Vazquez, they will be favored to win the American League. And it's driving Steinbrenner apeshit. On the one hand, the prospect of the Yankee owner foaming at the mouth over Theo Epstein beating Brian Cashman to Scott Sauerbeck and Williamson makes me giddy. On the other hand, the prospect of Big Stein ordering Cashman to go get Brian Giles or Vladimir Guerrero regardless of the cost scares me silly. Steinbrenner is rabidly mad, which may lead to a bad trade by the Yankees, but may lead to shelling out more cash to get the rightfielder they desperately need.

Regardless of what the Yankees do, it's a great time to be a Sox fan. The big black cloud that is the August schedule looms on the horizon, but this team is getting better every day.

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