As for Tim Wakefield, he reduced his magic number from 12 to 11, pitching five and one third innings of pretty good baseball against the former number one team in the AL East. Tim's first three innings were brilliant, and then the ever-baffling knuckleball seemed to take a nasty turn on him. Timmy allowed five runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts. More importantly, Tim and the team got the win. For Wake, this is win number 182 in a Red Sox uniform. Ten to tie, eleven to take the top. It's seeming more and more likely that he can do it, and if he can't do it this season, Theo better bring him back next year.
For a few moments after realizing Varitek was catching for Wake, I was filled with pure and paralyzing terror, but I have to say... he did a damn fine job of it. Though we all know Tek is scared to death of catching that knuckleball, he knew we needed him and he did what he had to do. The battery duo last night has shown time and time again that either of them will do anything the team needs done, and that's why I love both of them so much.
The offense jumped on a largely ineffective Burnett early, putting three up on the board in the first inning for the second night in a row, two runs coming off another Ortiz home run. I'm sure Girardi didn't appreciate it at all, but thankfully, we don't play to keep Girardi happy. Tito, on the other hand, probably loved it. In the second, Scoots and Drew teamed up to add another run. In the fourth, Varitek beat out a double-play ball to bring in a run, then CRW doubled to bring in another, and THEN Munchkin singled to bring in the 7th run. Still, for all the runs we put on him, Burnett lasted longer than Garcia.
The Yanks tried to make it interesting in the later innings, but Alfredo Aceves earned a save by throwing three and two-thirds innings and only allowing a single run. Just to make it comfortable again, the Sox added three more in the ninth on home runs for Crawford and Drew. Aceves slammed the door in the bottom of the ninth, and we take the top spot in the East. Easy, right?
Sure was. Let's home the never-ending rematch of Beckett vs Sabathia plays out the way these last two games have.