Friday, May 21, 2010

Dahmer: Exceeding Expectations

I'll happily eat crow on the topic of Clay Buchholz. I always say that I don't think he's going to be what Theo thinks he's going to be. So far this season, he's proving me wrong and I couldn't be happier about that. On a cruddy, rainy night at Fenway, Dahmer showed me in person that he may just have what it takes to win me over. I'm not won over yet... but I'm a few steps closer. Really, what's to complain about? He pitched 8 1/3 innings, and sure he gave up two runs, but it's ok! He was very efficient with his pitches. To get 25 outs, he only used 104 pitches. I like that. That tells me that he was throwing strikes, had good command of the zone and wasn't wasting pitches. I hate it when they waste pitches (though I can see the necessity for it every once in a while). I do believe Clay is our new team leader in ERA, with a handy 3.26 after the game. Granted, he's third on the team in WHIP, at 1.43 (Jon Lester is at 1.14, and Timmy Wakefield is 1.28), but we all know Dahmer allowed a bunch of unearned runs early on. He's getting better at pitching, though. Or perhaps he's always been this way and I just never gave him any credit? Yeah, that seems more likely.

But, really, the story of the game for me was David Ortiz. Why? Well, because Papi took so much abuse at the beginning of the season that I'm making up for it with all the extra love I can manage. That's the proper way to nurse an abused creature back to health, you know. When he launched that ball over the monster... oh man, what a moment. No matter how damp and uncomfortable Fenway was, seeing Ortiz pop one out to the opposite field makes sitting there worth it. Sure, it was more left center than left, but that still counts as opposite field, and I LOVE when he does that. Where are all those people now that were screaming about Papi being all done, huh? Yeah, that's what I thought. I wish those kinds of people could be banned for life from Fenway. They don't deserve to cheer for him now.

I have now been in Fenway park for two reviewed home run calls. I'm glad to say that the system actually works, and I promise you, the wait wasn't that bad. It's fun to be in the crowd with everyone twirling their fingers in the air, trying to convince the umps to call the HR. They got it right, and Papi got the home run. All was well in Red Sox world. The only thing I wish they did was show a replay of the home run on the big screen... you know, for the people who didn't get a good view of where it hit. I would have really liked a replay at that point, but I'm sure they have reasons for not replaying it. Namely, they just didn't want to.

Our other run was a good old-fashioned kinda run, with Beltre, Hermida, and Hall working together to push one across the plate at the bottom of the 6th. It's a good thing they were able to put that together, because we needed that run. Dahmer deserved the win, and they made sure that he walked away with it. I really do love it when everything falls together just right. Yeah, it's a little annoying that they left eight guys on base, but whatever. They got the win. I'm not going to complain at all. For today anyway (also for later today when I write my post about Lester's pitching performance last night... but that comes later!)

The Blue Jays won in Seattle and the Yankees lost at home to Tampa, so we at least pick up a game on New York. Like I said though, I'll worry about them when we're looking directly up at them. For now, I'm focused on getting past Toronto.

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