Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Prodigal Son

Game 114 - Red Sox

Red Sox 8, Royals 2
Record: 65-49

A big, much-needed performance from a key cog sparked the Sox to victory over the Royals and perhaps, maybe, hopefully signalled good things to come.

Jason Bay, right? He turned in a ho-hum 4-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI performance to raise his OPS with the Sox to 1.312 and then conducted an interview with whipped cream stuck in his hair courtesy of his new friend Big Papi. No, not him?

Oh, must've been that scrapper Dustin Pedroia, then. Little bastard's working on a 26-game road hitting streak and hasn't gone hitless on consecutive nights since June 11-12. Wrong? Seriously?

Okay - we're talking about Jacoby Ellsbury's 2-for-4 with 2 SBs. His first two swipes since July 1 sure did ease a lot of fears, didn't they?

Ahhh. Ebby Calvin. Forgot all about him, mostly because he's been forgettable all season. Not dreadful enough to cause gnashing of teeth and Buchholz-level concern and not good enough to wear the Captain Kickass label. But mediocre enough to worry even the least nervous of the Nellies in our midst. ERA, WHIP, K/9, K/BB, OPS against all trailing last year's marks and more than a few inexplicable failures tend to do that. And after he gave back a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the natives were restless. Until Beckett set down 18 of the next 20. That'll do.

To be sure, it was the Royals. But while the baby blues aren't exactly the 1927 Yankees, they're an increasingly competitive team with some real talent (next year's Rays? Anyone with me? Anyone? Not until they can pitch as well as they might hit, I suppose.). And in a year where it increasingly appears that the Sox can't afford to give anything away, a positive sign from Beckett was sorely needed and greatly appreciated.

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