Here’s another long entry being brought over from my blog’s previous location. My next entry will be a “current” one!
Early morning, Aug 27, 2007
After watching 4 games between the 2 Sox teams, there’s so much to talk about!
Sooner or later, our hitters will figure you out
Wow. 46-7 in the series.
The Red Sox score more in each game than the White Sox scored in the entire series!
If you didn’t notice, the Red Sox have developed an interesting pattern in they first struggle against, then “figure out” opposing starting pitchers.
Against below average starters, the Red Sox start to hit them the 2nd time through the lineup. Against good starters, they’ve hit them the 3rd time through. In Friday’s games, the Red Sox got to both Chicago starters, Garland and Danks, in the 4th inning, on the 2nd time through the lineup. In Saturday’s and Sunday’s games, they got to Buerhle and Vazquez on the 3rd time through the lineup.
It’s been uncanny. It’s like something clicks in their heads, and as soon as one guy gets it, the knowledge spreads like “The Borg” in Star Trek to all the other Red Sox hitters, and the hits keep coming.
In the first 3 innings of the 4 games, the Red Sox scored a total of 2 runs. In the middle 3 innings, 23 runs. In the last 3 innings, 21 runs.
They took it like men
I respect the White Sox for not throwing at any of the Red Sox hitters or getting into fights. It must have been a very difficult weekend for them. At least the 4 games happened fast, in just over 50 hours.
Ya gotta feel for Hawk Harrelson. He really takes these losses hard. I suppose it would be harder for him if they were losing like this to the Yankees or the Tigers. It’s got to at least feel a little less bad that it’s his former team doing so well.
Of course, it’s also gotta be bad for all the White Sox fans. At least they got a World Series victory 2 years ago to look back on.
Good signs from Gagne?
Gagne was throwing his fastball at 91 to 93 mph and spotting it well. When they made contact, they hit it foul the other way; a good sign. He only threw a few change-ups, but they were well placed for strikeouts.
Papelbon The Great
I think Papelbon would have pitched no matter what the score was today, having not been needed all series, and with the off day tomorrow, he needed some work, and there was no risk of losing him for the next game by pitching him.
He looked great, with 3 straight strikeouts, giving him 71 strikeouts to only 38 baserunners allowed by walk or hit. Most pitchers are doing outstandingly well if they allow fewer baserunners than innings. Most pitchers are doing outstandingly well if they have more strikeouts than innings. So more strikeouts than baserunners is amazing. Papelbon has almost TWICE as many strikeouts as baserunners allowed. Wow.
JD when it counts?
JD Drew’s numbers against the National League this year are excellent. Against the American League, they’re horrible. Many have speculated that because he played his whole career in the National League before this year, he may feel more comfortable playing against those teams, or perhaps the memories of playing well came back and helped him perform. Whatever the reason, think about this: if the Red Sox make it to the World Series, there’s a good chance JD Drew will perform very well, since they’ll be playing a National League team. If JD Drew ends up being the MVP of a close World Series, his entire underperforming season will be forgiven by Red Sox Nation.
Playoff chances way up
The Red Sox only need to win 1 game out of the 3 in New York to keep at least a 6 game lead with one-month left in the season, and the way they’re playing, 1 game should be the minimum they win. After that series, the Red Sox have 18 home games left, to only 10 road games. That bodes well for a division title! The Red Sox get 3 off days in September, while Seattle only gets one day off. That bodes well for at least a playoff berth for the Red Sox, but of course we’re not thinking of just making the playoffs. We want the division!
Wakefield – Every 40-something’s hero
If there’s a pitcher of the month award in the American League, Tim Wakefield deserves it. He has 22 straight scoreless innings, even with the last 2 games caught by a different catcher than usual. When your number 4 starter is that good, and your number 5 starter (Tavarez) gives up just 3 runs in his last 2 starts, you know you’re in good shape.
Forecast: Long periods of Wins
With your #4 and #5 starters pitching lights out, and the offense scoring at least 10 runs in 4 straight games, and the defense playing well… this is the kind of set up that can lead to LOOOOOOOOONG winning streaks. After the 3 game series in the Bronx, the Red Sox might just win 13 in a row. They’ll play 6 games at home against the Orioles and Blue Jays, then 4 on the road in Baltimore, then 3 at home against Tampa Bay before the Yankees arrive again. With the Red Sox playing the way they are now, those 13 games between the 2 Yankees’ series against teams at or below .500, and mostly at home, could lead to a long winning streak. They should win at least 10 of the 13, if not all 13!
Clemens in Fenway
If they do, that 3 game series against the Yankees in Fenway in mid-September would lack in drama, except for the possible storylines of the Red Sox potentially clinching the division over the Yankees during the series, and the possibility of Clemens pitching in Fenway one last time.
In fact, the way the schedules and rotations are lined up, barring rainouts or other stuff messing things up, Clemens would pitch against Schilling on Saturday afternoon, Sept 15th in Fenway Park. Can you say “hot ticket”?
With only 13 games left after that one, could that be the pennant clincher? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but with the Red Sox hot streak and easy schedule coming up, it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Imagine, beating Clemens on his last start ever in Fenway, with him in a Yankees uniform, to clinch the first division title over the Yankees since Clemens himself last had a winning season for the Red Sox!