Game 158 – Red Sox
Red Sox 11, A’s 6
Love is a Manny-splendored thing, indeed. Or, in English, it sure is super-terrific to have #24 back in the lineup, even if in a limited capacity.
Yesterday’s 5:00 EST start meant that I only saw the final handful of innings, so I missed most of Manny’s 3-for-3, 2R, 1BI, 1BB performance. Regardless, the reappearance of his bat in the lineup augurs nothing but good things for the Sox’ postseason chances. There's something poetic in the way he drops the barrel of his bat and hammers a pitch on a line into right field.
The win over the A’s was a textbook example of how the Sox’ offense needs to operate to give the good guys a chance to win in October. Keep the game close early, chase the opposing starter, and feast on the soft underbelly of the opposing bullpen. All of the AL playoff teams (the Angels, Indians, and Evil Empire) have strong late relief (Joe Borowski notably excepted, but the Tribe’s got sick setup guys), but they’re all vulnerable in middle relief. Dustin Pedroia’s rocket homer in the 6th was the launch pad for the Sox’ 6 runs against the A’s bullpen, and a blueprint for next month.
Shifting gears now, and grinding metal against metal. An honest assessment of the quality of my efforts here over the past month leaves this observer with the feeling that something’s missing. That something is honesty, and I’m afraid to tell you that you won’t be getting it anytime soon. I may allude to it here, but some unseen force is rebuffing my efforts to come clean. If I were truly and fully open about my feelings regarding the Yankees and the Sox and the stretch run, you’d be forced to call my doctor and have me taken away for observation. Maybe when the season’s over I’ll let it out – the catharsis might be freeing.
For now, you’ll get that tease and like it.