No disrespect at all to Tim, but when I looked at the pitching matchups and saw that he was going to be facing Halladay and the best-in-the-NL Phillies... well, I didn't really expect to win the series. I should know better. The Sox, in general, do pretty good against Halladay. As of right now, they are the only team in baseball with a winning record against Halladay. It may not mean much to this current squad, but I think it's pretty cool. Better yet, he didn't have appendicitis this time, so the win was actually legit.
Tim was fantastic in getting his first win since before the ASB of last year. He earned every bit of that win. 102 pitches in eight innings, giving up five hits and no runs. I mean, did ANYONE expect Tim to fare that well against the Phillies? Maybe he did. You know the man has faith in himself. He managed to seal up win 176 for himself. He only needs 16 more to tie Clemens and Cy Young for most wins. He needs 17 to pass them. Assuming that Tim can manage eight wins this season... which might be a stretch... he'll only need nine wins next season. Strangely enough, he also needs 17 IP to pass Clemens as the Sox all time leader in innings pitched. I think he can do it, because I want him to do it. I believe good things can happen to good people, and who's better than Tim Wakefield in the baseball world. He seems like such a great guy. I hope I never hear anything that proves that assumption wrong. Not like I'd believe it anyway.
Offense was on against Halladay, which surprised me. Seven runs (six earned) against Halladay makes for an incredible day. Maybe he's gone soft facing these NL teams? Or perhaps we just caught him on a bad day. Whatever it was, I'm thankful we were able to get to him. Doc only lasted 5.2 innings, so we were doing something right against him.
Munchkin is going through a mighty slump, it seems, while Youk has picked it up and is now batting .322 on the season. And Drew, the object of unquestioning hatred in Philly is actually surviving pretty well on that injured hamstring of his. Maybe he's sick of people insinuating that he's made of glass (which I'm still pretty sure he is). But it was Youk and his awesome hitting ability that really won the game. He had a shot at going for the cycle after he got the triple and the home run out of the way, but like many wonderful history book type things this weekend, it was not to be.
And honestly, to save my life I can't remember if it was Saturday or Sunday when CRW made that crazy diving catch. All I remember was that it actually made ME feel pain. That couldn't have been very awesome on those cracked ribs. But, despite that, I feel a little better about centerfield defense when he's there... not much, because his fielding tends to make me cringe, but a little bit. No disrespect to our serviceable fill-ins, but they couldn't field. At all. So, the offense was on. The defense was excellent. Our starting pitching was beyond what I could have expected. And while Rambo struggled a little bit out of the pen, he still sealed up the win for Timmy. Look, when we have an 8-run lead, I don't care if the bullpen struggles, as long as they don't blow the game. I'm sure Rambo was a bit rusty. After all the wonderful pitching performances this week from our starters (Lackey not included), they needed work to get themselves together. I am supremely happy with the way the Sox clicked this week. Now all we desperately need is for them to keep it together during this next series. It gives us a chance to close the gap between us and the top spot in the east. Please don't let them squander this opportunity. It all starts with Dahmer tonight. I'll be watching.
4 weeks ago