I give Pretzels a lot of grief. I call him soft and claim that half of his body is made of marshmallows. I constantly berate him for being an overrated fielder and yell at his image on my TV that he's useless if he's not stealing bases. I am not nice to Pretzels. I don't have to be, and I'm not going to change. But today? Today he gets a break from the abuse, because he had one hell of a game last night, and I am not above giving him credit when he earns it. He went 3-for-5 (including his third lead-off home run of the season), stole a base, and played pretty solid defense.... even if his best play of the night didn't count because the umpires are ridiculous and didn't bother to let anyone know that time had been called. It's a shame. His catch against the wall, and pinpoint accurate throw back into the infield was delightful. It should have counted. Well played, Pretzels.
The other story was Grandfather Tim(e) himself. Yes, Timothy notched career win #198, improved his record to 5-3, and put in a quality start by all definitions of the term. More importantly to me, he got Red Sox career win #184, putting him in a position where he only needs eight more wins to tie Cy, and nine more wins to move passed him... and that other guy who I don't like to talk about. I want to see him in sole possession of that record when it's all said and done. Nine more wins... two and a half months left to the season. Does he have nine more wins in him this season? Better yet, will he have enough starts to try to earn those nine wins? If my bake sale plan goes through, he will. We just have to get John Lackey out of the rotation so we can keep Wakefield in. Right now, between the two of them, it's an absolute no-brainer who deserves the job.
Overall, it was a pretty decent offensive night. Ricky Romero has his problems with the Sox, and he just can't seem to shake them, but I'm not complaining. Everyone in the starting lineup had a hit, except Ortiz and Scutaro... who could easily be replaced with JJ Hardy. It's just an observation. Hardy is trade bait right now. Back on point, it's nice to score six runs on a night that Ernie is riding the pine with a sore neck. I will not bemoan him the day off as he has played in every game this season up until last night. I mean, sure, the ASB starts in four days... but no bemoaning here. Navarro, Ronald, and Youkilis combined to put as many RBIs on the board as Pretzels put up himself (3), and we had a nice three-run cushion heading into the ninth inning... only after sitting through a 40-minute rain delay. What's a game without a rain delay or two?
But oh, Papelbon. It seems you have the same problem with the Jays that Romero has with the Sox. You see them in the opposing dugout and you start to suck. It's a terrible affliction, and I suggest therapy to get over it. Paps had me holding my breath and cursing his name at the same time. I think there might have been an armageddon if he had blown this game, because I'm really rooting hard for every possible Wakefield win. Every single one, Paps. So just a friendly suggestion... you might want to pull your sucky shenanigans on other pitchers. Like Lackey. He doesn't ever deserve to win anyway. I guess you could try pulling that on Beckett, but I assume he'd put an end to that pretty quickly on his own. If Dice ever pitches another major league game, pull your garbage on him. But not Tim. You leave Tim's leads alone, y'hear? He's got milestones to reach!