Friday, September 03, 2004

Game 132 - Red Sox
Train Kept-a Rollin' All Night Long

Red Sox 4, Angels 3
Record: 79-53

I'm running out of good things to say about this team. Admittedly, my long-term memory isn't what it used to be (how would I know, right?), but I'm hard-pressed to recall a stretch of games where the Sox played as well in all phases of the game, and got contributions from so many players. 15 wins in 16 games, at a time when they had to win to keep up with their chief post-season competition. A sweep of the red-hot Angels, dropping Anaheim 4 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race. The closest thing I can remember is Morgan Magic, when the 1988 Sox ripped off 19 wins in 20 games under new manager "Walpole" Joe Morgan (not to be confused with the Luddite Hall of Famer-cum ESPN broadcaster of the same name) to jump into the pennant chase.

Derek Lowe continued to make progress last night, overcoming a shaky start (single runs in each of the first 3 innings) to go 7 1/3 innings and save the bullpen - which needed it after Arroyo's meltdown on Wednesday. The defense continued to shine, with Dave Roberts making a spectacular catch to atone for an error on the previous play and stunt a rally in the making. And the offense did just enough, pounding Bartolo Colon so relentlessly that he was out of the game before the end of the 5th inning. Tiger starter Jeremy Bonderman was the last starting pitcher to last into the 5th against the Sox, and that was over the weekend.

I had hoped that the Sox could go 8-5 in the 13 games beginning with the Detroit series last weekend. Now that they're 7-0 in the middle of that stretch, I'll be right bummed if 8-5 is all they can muster. Their next 9 games are against Texas, Oakland and Seattle, with the latter two series on the road. Under normal circumstances, 2 of3 against Texas and Seattle and 1 of 3 against Oakland sounds about right. Today, though, the curse of expectations raised by the Sox' recent play makes anything less than 6-3 disappointing.

No comments: