Saturday, June 09, 2007

Mr. & Mrs. Drew Can Be Proud Tonight

Okay, so we've seen back to back to back to back home runs this year, a no-hitter lost with one out to go in the 9th, the temporary resurrection of Julio Lugo and J.D. Drew in the same game, and now - this caps it off - we just watched Julian Tavarez put down a strange-looking but effective bunt that made it bases loaded for the Sox against the Diamondbacks. That's the beauty of baseball. Just when you think you've seen it all, along comes something completely unexpected. Like I tell my wife all the time, it's my soap opera. And it's better than any of the slop you're watching.

I thought Curt Schilling's near no-hitter on Thursday might serve as a catalyst after the Sox had lost 4 in a row for the first time all season. So far, so good. After avoiding the sweep in Oakland with Schilling's gem, the Sox put the wood to Arizona last night, beating the D-Backs 10-3 behind Drew and Josh Beckett. Drew (along with Lugo) has been a popular whipping boy on sports radio this week. The two big offseason acquisitions (combined 9 years, $106M) are both hitting about .220 and fans around these parts are rapidly growing impatient. For one night anyway, the beleaugered pair showed some of the offense Theo thought he was getting.

Lugo led off Friday night's game with a blast into the left-centerfield seats, but it was Drew who was the offensive star. He smashed two homers and drove in a career-high 7 runs. Combined with a sharp Beckett, the Sox coasted to victory in the opener.

Tonight it's Mr. Tavarez against Arizona's Micah Owings. It's 1-0 right now heading into the third inning.

A couple of random observations and links for your reading pleasure:

- Went to a buddy's 40th birthday party tonight, and in deciding what to bring as a gift, I settled on a book about the 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox. A bunch of us are turning 40 this year, and we all take pride knowing that our Moms carried us/had us during one of the greatest Red Sox seasons ever. So anyway, I'm looking online for a good book, I type "impossible dream" in the Google search field, and this spits out. Ronan Tynan, who just happens to be the house singer for... the Yankees.

- Remember all the different uniform combinations the Oakland A's and Pittsburgh Pirates of the late '70s and '80s had? The Diamondbacks are in that class. Red, black, all sortsa stuff going on.

- I love 'Tek and he's the undisputed leader of this nine, but whoever decided to put the 'C' on the front of his uniform made a bad decision. It just looks silly.

- There's nothing quite like the excitement of watching one of your own pitchers come so close to a no-hitter like Schilling did the other day. I was at a gym in Boston and before you knew it, there was a crowd of around 15 people - old and young - intently watching the TV. When he got the first 2 outs, I thought for sure he had it. But Shannon Stewart thought differently. After the game, Schilling talked about how he shook off Varitek's call for a slider, and said he'd probably play the 'what if?' game for the rest of his life. Who else would be that candid under the circumstances? Schilling's a blowhard, but he's our blowhard. Check out his blog for his thoughts on the near no-no.

- Fat Roger made his Yankee debut today against the mighty Pittsburgh Pirates. He ended up getting a win - 6 innings, 3 earned runs, 5 K's. Solid numbers.

- Trivia question: Who's the only man to have 2,000 hits and 2,000 wins as a major league manager?

- Did your heart skip a little bit last night after Manny got hit in the wrist? Looked nasty on replay, and he's out of the lineup tonight - but all reports indicate that he's fine.

- It's a good week for the Drews. Stephen Drew - J.D.'s brother and the SS for Arizona - just took Tavarez deep for a 2-run homer. 3-0 Diamondbacks.

- NESN had a feature on tonight about the team "barber" - a cat named Lmonstro. This is the guy who does Manny's dreadlocks and Big Papi's funky beard. He actually travels with the team and everything. L-fricking-monstro. Only in America.

- Well, there you have it. I give 'Tek grief for the C and look what he does. He homers in the 6th to make it a 3-2 game, and then he doubles in the 8th to tie it at 3. A good one going on in the desert...

- J.D. Drew continues to be on fire...

- Here's a question for you: in a big game, right now, who do you want starting -- Wakefield or Tavarez? It's an interesting debate but I'd have to go with Tavarez right now. Wake rebounded last time out, so hopefully he can get back into a groove. If he doesn't, and if and when Jon Lester reclaims his spot in the rotation, it will be interesting to see what Tito and Theo do.

- Speaking of Lester, after a couple of solid outings for Pawtucket he had a tough one last night. This gives the Sox the luxury of giving Lester one more start in the minors, and giving Tavarez another start. No need to rush, which must be a nice feeling.

- This is cool -- I just nodded off for about an hour so this is now one of the longest posts ever.

- I just so happened to awake from my slumber at the perfect time. The Sox and D-Backs are into the 10th inning and Mike Lowell just hit a pinch-hit sac fly to drive in Big Papi for the go-ahead run. Papelbon comes on for the save and allows a couple of baserunners, but he's throwing lighting bolts and the Sox close it out. A very nice win.

- Well, the best I could do on my comeback win research -- as of May 27th, after the Sox had beaten the Rangers in Game No. 49, they had 17 comeback wins. Pretty damn amazing.

- Trivia answer: Joe "Karl Malden" Torre

- I know I'm rambling so I'll end it on this note: Dice-K against Randy Johnson today. Appointment TV.

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