Sunday, June 11, 2006

Marathon Day

"It's a great day for baseball. Let's play two."
- Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks

Okay, so it's not your traditional doubleheader, but then again we don't have those anymore. Nowadays, it takes bad weather to create doubleheaders and we certainly know all about that around here.

It was another long day for Sox fans yesterday, especially those that made the trek to Fenway. Rain continued to intervene with baseball, and instead of a doubleheader yesterday we're going to get a twinbill today. Gametime was supposed to be 1:25 yesterday, but the game didn't get going until just before 6:30. That wiped out the chance to get the second game in, so they'll start at noontime today and then the second game will start at 5. This helps circumvent ESPN's restrictions so NESN can broadcast both games.

So we had to wait a little longer to see Jon Lester pitch, but it did happen. He was a mixed bag, but I think we saw enough to realize what everyone likes about him. He was most definitely amped up - which he admitted after the game - and that made him overthrow at times. He walked four in four innings. But he had some pop on his pitches, almost unexpected pop coming from a slight lefty. He also showed an impressive hard curve that he was able to get over pretty consistently.

Unfortunately, the Sox couldn't get Lester a win in his debut. He handed the baton to Julian Tavarez with the game tied at 3 in the fifth inning, and it stayed that way until the 7th when Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler knocked in two. Manny narrowed the lead to 1 with his 450th career homer in the 8th, but Foulkie gave it up to Hank Blalock in the 9th and Texas pulled away for a 7-4 win.

As a result of yesterday's chaos, the pitching matchups have been juggled a bit and we won't get to see Home Run Derby between Josh Beckett and John "Wayyyy Back" Wasdin. Instead, Beckett goes against Rangers ace Kevin Millwood today at noon, and it's David Pauley getting another shot in the second game against Wasdin. I didn't think Tito had the balls/sense to skip Clement today, but maybe Clement's a little more banged up than we've been led to believe.

Yanks lost again to the A's yesterday, so Sox lost an opportunity to separate. Barry Zito vs. Shawn Chacon today.

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