Game 139 – Red Sox
Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3
I see that Whit is having the same issues I faced this morning in reconciling the difficulty in generating pithy commentary in the wake of an overwhelmingly positive outcome. Conflict, pathos, and sputtering rage are so much easier to chronicle than benign happiness.
Josh Beckett not only got his 17th win last night, he did it by hitching up his drawers and throwing 117 pitches over 8 innings when his team desperately needed to rest some bullpen arms. Tough luck for Josh that this seems finally to be the year where Cy Young voters realize that wins aren’t the best measuring stick, but his comeback from an extremely disappointing 2006 has been an enormous factor for the Sox in 2007. Last night, Beckett did exactly what aces do – step up when it counts the most and deliver. He had 1 bad inning, walking the 9th-place hitter to allow the insanely hot Matt Stairs to bat with runners on base. Otherwise, he fairly dominated the Jays’ tough lineup.
In a classic case of timing being everything, Jacoby Ellsbury’s gone plaid since his recall from Pawtucket. After 2 homers in 104 games at AAA Pawtucket, Ellsbury’s now hit 2 in 11 games with the Sox (both in the last 3) after his 2-run shot off Roy Halladay last night. The rookie has a Bonds-like 1.284 OPS in 34 at-bats and a cult following in the Nation that’s unlikely to wane anytime soon. The next 2 months may well feature Coco Crisp’s farewell tour in a Red Sox uniform.
I note with some schadenfreudian whimsy that Roger Clemens got a cortisone shot for his ailing elbow. Or, to steal blatantly from Deadpin this morning, he more accurately received a “cortisone shot” for his “ailing elbow”. Don’t get me wrong - I’m still terrified of the proposition of facing the Yankees in the post-season. It’s just that Clemens is so much fun to root against.