Saturday, August 12, 2006

Home Sweet Home

What a difference 48 hours and sleeping in your own bed makes. The Sox came home in the wee hours of Friday morning with their tails between their legs, having lost five in a row on the road to the woeful Devil Rays and woeful-er Royals. I still have the sight of Royals fans - Royals fans, for crissakes - with brooms on Thursday night seared into my brain. How they know about this tradition I'm not quite sure.

Thinking about this current homestand, beginning with the Orioles - another AL weak sister - I thought the bats would come alive back in the cozy confines of Fenway, but our pitchers for the first two games worried me -- David Wells on Friday, followed by Jason Johnson today. Not exactly inspiring.

On Friday night, the Sox erupted for 7 runs in the third inning to give Boomer an 8-0 lead. That took some pressure off, and Wells proceeded to throw a typical Wells game -- 7 ip, "scattered" 9 hits, 1 run, 4 k's, 1 walk. If he's able to contribute down the stretch, all of a sudden he turns out to be your trading deadline "acquisition."

Today's game was satisfying because the Sox clawed their way back from a 5-1 deficit, tied it at 7 in the 6th inning, and then won it in the 10th on a walkoff single from somebody other than David Ortiz. This time, the big hit came from Manny, who also extended his hitting streak to 27 games at the same time. Jason Johnson was ineffective - giving up 7 runs over 5 1/3 innings - but the bullpen was fantastic, as Tavarez, Hansen, Timlin and Papelbon shut down the Orioles the rest of the way. Final score: 8-7.

Yankees won again, so Sox keep pace and remain two games out of first. They're two behind the White Sox in the wild card standings, along with the Twins who may fall with Liriano being out.

Jon Lester goes for the sweep tomorrow afternoon against Daniel Cabrera. Last time we saw Cabrera, the Sox had an easy "walk" in the park.

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