Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Cure For What Ails Ya

Two games against the Royals, two one-run victories to get the reeling Sox back on track. Game 1 on Monday night wasn't looking good. Down 4-1 in the 7th inning, Doug Mirabelli came through with a huge three-run homer into the first row of the Monster seats to tie it up. In the 8th, Manny hit a medium-depth sac fly to left to score Willie Harris (just barely). That made it 5-4 and it was Papelbon time in the 9th. One fun note from this one: David Ortiz stole his first base of the year with a nice hook slide into second.

Tonight was the Jon Lester Show. The lefty from Tacoma, Washington pitched eight innings of one-hit ball in what was a much-needed quality start. Where the hell would we be without this kid? He walked four tonight, but he was able to stay out of jams. And how about his poise? He's calm on the mound when the pressure builds, and you can see it in his overall demeanor when he's being interviewed. Not too up, not too down. Sox win the second game against KC the old-fashioned way, 1-0. Alex Gonzalez had the lone RBI of the night, driving in Jason Varitek with a single up the middle. Thank God for the Kansas City Royals.

Nice highlight of this one was the fans giving Jason Varitek a loud ovation. Once the game became official, 'Tek replaced Carlton Fisk on the all-time games caught list for the Sox -- 991 to 990.

In other Sox news, lots of comings and goings today. Willie Harris was designated for assignment and Javier Lopez sent down to Pawtucket to make room for the returning Wily Mo Pena and Jermaine Van Buren, who should serve as the medium-long man. Tim Wakefield's back is hurting and he's going in for more tests. And David Wells may be on the verge of making an improbable comeback. Just another day in the greatest sports soap opera going.

Game 3 is a rare scheduled day game tomorrow - Josh Beckett tries to right his ways against (another lefty) Mark Redman. 1:05 game time. Get those ESPN GameCast's cranking.

Late update: the friggin' Yankees came back from a 4-2 deficit to the Mariners to tie the game in the 9th, but then the heavens opened up and it's now raining heavily in the Bronx. Game is currently being delayed.

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