Game 40 - Red Sox
Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 3
I just got done reading a terrific piece by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker on the phenomenon of the underdog. In it, the author postulates that, "David can beat Goliath by substituting effort for ability."
In news that's related, but only tangentially, the Sox' erstwhile Goliath (ironically named David) finally matched effort to ability last night, and in so doing elicited a Nation-wide cathartic exhaling.
David Ortiz drilled a 3-1, 5th inning offering from Brett Cecil deep to left-center, and the Fenway crowd erupted in relieved joy, showering the big man with applause. His teammates gave Papi the mock-silent treatment, and the sheepish slugger gave a mini-curtain call. Ortiz capped his 2-for-5 day with a late double.
I don't think this represents a breakout, nor am I convinced that the Papi of old has walked through that door. I do think, though, that the schneid-breaking longball gives the Sox and Papi a lot of options now in terms of helping him find his stroke. Tito can move Ortiz around in the order if he continues to struggle without humiliating him, and Papi can relax, which may be all the psychological balm he needed.
Lost in the media melee, Jason Varitek hit his 6th and 7th homers of the year, reaching a tally that a great many Sox fans would have accepted as full-season totals for the captain. Mike Lowell ripped his 7th and Jason Bay his 12th (on a ball hit so far that even the taciturn Bay opened his mouth in awe). Hell, it was like Yankee Stadium had up and moved to Boston for the evening, what with all the balls flying out. Finally, Youks celebrated his return to the lineup with a 3-for-5 effort.
All that's left now is for Jon Lester to join the mojo-rejuvenation parade this evening to key a sweep in advance of the mighty Metropolitans' trip to Boston. From my keyboard to the young lefty's arm.