Game 9 - Red Sox
Red Sox 8, A's 2
Forgot to mention yesterday that I'm also thankful for Tim Wakefield, who recorded his 179th career victory yesterday, and has only his teammates to blame for falling 5 outs short of a no-hitter. If the Sox offense, so dormant heretofore, hadn't exploded for 6 runs in a 25-minute top of the 8th inning, it's a statistical near-certainty that Wake would've kept his rhythm and finished off the baffled A's. At least that's how I see it.
As it is, Wake's complete game was a godsend for a bullpen that threw 10 innings on Tuesday and has been bailing out ineffective starters at an alarming rate. So once again, we celebrate Timmy Wake (a picture of whom looks down upon me from my office bulletin board even as I type) for his oft-overlooked contributions. From this morning's Boston Globe: “I understand the circumstances of today,” Wakefield recalled telling his manager. “No matter what, don’t take me out.” Studly bastard.
The 8-run tidal wave marks a high-water mark for Sox bats this season, surpassing by 3 their previous best. The trio atop the lineup (Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and David Ortiz) are carrying a combined .264/.238/.492 OBP/SLG/OPS line into the campaign's 10th game. Of the 3, only the reigning MVP is immune from a substantial amount of brow-knitting worry. For Ellsbury, it's a question of whether he'll ever be patient enough at the plate to justify playing him every day. For the sainted Papi, though, the growing fear is that he's done, completely fallen off the cliff from age and injury to his wrist. Even typing it makes me feel dirty and sad.
We're gonna forget we said that. Three cheers for Timmy Wake.