Saturday, May 20, 2006

Chicks Dig the Longball

The Sox pulled rank on the Phillies last night in Citizens Bank Bandbox, riding three home runs - one each from the torrid Mike Lowell, Jason Varitek, and Big Papi - to beat the Phils, 5-3. Ortiz' blast landed in the upper deck. Matt Clement showed glimpses of his strong first half last year, and even showed that he can handle the bat a little bit. And what can you say about the bullpen? They're getting into a nice rhythm with Foulke in the 7th, Timlin in the 8th, and the unhittable Papelbon to seal the deal. Here's the final box.

Foulke has been decent this year, but he still scares me. I mean, the guy's best out pitch is a changeup? And he saved how many games for how many years? I'd still rather see Manny Delcarmen every now and then. Timlin - after showing a tired arm to start the year - has been lights out lately. Last night, he came in and took care of the heart of the Phillie order, striking out Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard back to back. Then Pap came in and did his thing. If Timlin keeps this up, we've got the best 1-2 late-inning punch in the game. One of the joys of NESN and high-definition was watching a splitter that Papelbon threw last night in slow motion - you could clearly see the grip on the ball, and then it literally dropped out of view of the camera as the batter swung and missed.

One additional note: the Phillies actually issued an intentional walk to Alex Gonzalez so they could get to Clement.

All of a sudden, I'm feeling a little more chipper about at least taking 2 of 3 in this series. Love the matchup tonight, with Beckett going against Brett Myers.

Oh yeah, the win was even sweeter considering the Empire lost to the Mets last night. Yanks took a 4-0 lead in the first, Mets hammered Randy to come back, and then won it in the ninth on a flyball that went over John Damon's head. I'm tellin' ya, ever since Damon and Damian had the ugly collision in Oakland in the 2003 playoffs, John hasn't tracked balls well. Something's wrong with his head, which we kind of, um, ah, already knew.

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