Games 51 & 52 - Red Sox
Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 2
Red Sox 5, Tigers 1
Games of inches writ large over the past two days, as Jon Lester and Daisuke Matsuzaka take baby steps and Jonathan Papelbon escapes his self-made troubles by a whisker.
Lester struck out 12 while allowing a single run in 6 innings in Toronto on Sunday as the Sox salvaged a lone win against the Jays. Last night, Daisuke needed 96 pitches to get through 5 innings in Detroit, but his line showed only a lone scratch by the Tigers in that time. Like I said, baby steps.
Meanwhile, the Sox' bullpen keeps stepping into the breach, with 7 innings, 1 run, 5 hits of metronomic consistency over the past 2 games. If I may torture an analogy here, the Sox' pen is like good jazz combo, with different instruments combining to create a uniquely polished sound. Extending this analogy to a completely ridiculous breaking point, Jonathan Papelbon becomes Animal, of Muppet fame. The rest of the pen keeps the beat, dropping an improv here and there, but otherwise playing sweet music. Papelbon/Animal stays with the story for a few bars, but in the end can't help himself, flying loose on and off the field, roaring and howling, and creating a chaos that makes even the hardiest of fans clutch his chest in cardiac concern.
Case in point, Animal's 9th-inning outing last night, when he allowed 3 consecutive singles to begin the frame before whiffing the next 3 batters to preserve the win. Nice and tidy, just like Fozzy drew it up.
Kevin Youkilis, he's clearly Cookie Monster.