As much as I don't like Adrian Beltre (because he is not Mike Lowell), I am absolutely going to give him credit for last night. He was, by far, the star of the game with his two home runs, single, triple, and 6 RBI's. Yet another occasion where one of our guys gets the hard part of the cycle out of the way, but can't quite get there. It's ok, because I don't know if I'd remember them hitting for the cycle anyway. So kudos to Beltre. He provided the early pop we needed, and perhaps his RBI's gave John Lackey a reason to believe that there are good things ahead and he needs to pitch well in order to see those good things. Beltre was the catalyst in this game. Two home runs in consecutive at-bats in consecutive innings? Yeah, I'll take that from him any day.
And, as usual, props to Papi for his own 2-run blast of the night. Yup, Papi is ok. Took him a while. Took the whole team a while, but Papi and the Sox seem to be back on track. I guess it's true that how Papi goes, so go the Sox. We scored five runs in the 9th inning, and it was all started by a Papi single, followed by a Youk walk, a Beltre triple, a Wolverine single, a Cameron single, and a Ronald McDonald double cheeseburger... assuming base hits are cheeseburgers. Which they so are.
Lackey was good enough. He went 6 1/3rd, allowing 2 runs and four walks on 115 pitches. He had one strike-out to show for his effort, but the bigger thing was that he didn't take the Sox out of the game early. Our bullpen held down the fort again. They may have gotten plenty of time off over the weekend, but our starters are starting to give them a little bit of work again, which is fine by me. Oki finished up the 7th for John. Rambo and Nelson each got an inning, collected one strikeout a piece. Sure, Nelson allowed a run in the 9th, but again... when we have a nine-run lead, I don't care if the bullpen gives up a few runs. As long as they don't give up nine (ok, so I may have used different numbers last time I said that, but the principle applies anyway). Hey, we walked away with a win. Our pitching staff must have been doing something right. They actually did plenty right, and I'm so happy that we were able to sweep the Rays. Sure, it wasn't a four-game sweep like they treated us to, but I'll take it.
We're now in third place in the division, after Toronto lost to LA. I was tracking the game on Gameday. Bottom of the ninth with the game tied and a runner on 3rd, one out, Toronto elects to intentionally walk two guys in a row to load the bases. Of course, it didn't entirely matter because Bobby Abreu singled in the winning run. So, good. Abreu finally did something I approve of. Thanks, Bobby!
Also, another game in which our suddenly great defense did not allow an error. Excellent. This absolutely, 100% cannot be the same team.... can it? I'm amazed. Now that we've gotten past Lackey's start with a win, I think tonight is our next big hurdle. Dice-K's been alternating between good starts and bad starts. Considering his last start was awesome.... I don't know. He's also facing the Royals, so he's got that going in his favor. We'll see what happens.
Also... Celtics? Stop being the Bruins! NOW!
18 hours ago