Friday, May 29, 2009

The Cap'm

Games 46 through 48 - Red Sox

Twins 5, Red Sox 2
Twins 4, Red Sox 2
Red Sox 3, Twins 1
Record: 28-20

A search of 'varitek corpse' in the MLC archives yields dozens of results. (NOTE: this is not true. Poetic license, though it would be true of a search of my mental archives. You'd also find the word 'melonfarmer' and a cache of Mary Lou Retton photos there. Please leave them be.) There's not a Sox fan in my acquaintance that had any expectations for the Sox' captain this season.

Yesterday, Jason Varitek blasted - and I do mean blasted - a pair of homers off of Twins rookie Anthony Swarzak to carry the Sox to a 3-1 win in their last regular season game in the Twins' freak palace. The longballs were Tek's 9th and 10th of the season, raising his OPS to .861. We're nearly a third of the way through the season, and the Sox' catcher is on pace for 30 homers when nobody who was paying attention would have predicted more than 8. So, yeah, we're pleasantly surprised.

Josh Beckett quietly closed out a strong May with 7 innings of 3-hit ball against the Twins. After a dismal April, the once and future rockhead was unbeated in 5 May starts, posting a 2.38 ERA over that span to lower his season mark from 7.22 to 4.60. The rotation has been fairly and oft-maligned thus far, but Beckett appears to be adding some much-needed stability.

In a Tim Kurkjian wet dream, both starting catchers and each manager received early showers courtesy of home plate umpire Todd Tichenor, who ejected first Mike Redmond and Ron Gardenhire before running Varitek and Terry Francona, all in the 7th inning. Baseball's version of a Gordie Howe hat trick for Tek, perhaps.

Off to Toronto for a weekend set against the reeling Jays, where the Sox will miss Roy Halladay. Trap series, no question, as it was the Sox 3-game sweep of Toronto in Boston that kick-started the Jays' current skid. At least we've got Tek.

I can't believe I just typed that.

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