Friday, July 13, 2007

Welcome Back

After the ugly sweep in Detroit, and being subjected to the three-day Barryfest over the break, it was nice to have a game to look forward to last night. It was even nicer to see the Sox swing the bats in beating the Blue Jays, 7-4, at Fenway. And in particular, it was nice to see a certain heavy-hitting duo get involved.

Much attention around here during the All-Star break was paid to the fact that both Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz are wayyyy behind their first-half numbers from 2006. No one's sure why Manny's production has tailed off, and Papi is playing on a trick knee and isn't seeing many juicy fastballs. So last night, it was most comforting to see them go a combined 5 for 9, with 5 RBI's and 3 runs against Jays' ace Roy Halladay.

For us, Tim Wakefield pitched well until the 6th, when his knuckler started to get flat and some pretty good hitters - Matt Stairs and Alex Rios - went back to back with two bombs. As has been the case all year, Okie Dokie and Papelbon came in and snuffed out any potential fires.

The Jays' loss means that the Yankees (7-3 victors over Tampa Bay) have sole possession of second place, 10 games back. Toronto is now 11 back.

One other note - lots of talk the last couple of days about Big Papi's knee. As some of you guys know, I consider myself one of the world's foremost experts on knees. In fact, I think I could probably become an orthopedic surgeon with very little training. The good news for Papi, for the time being, is that he can play with the injury in its current state (sounds medical-ly, doesn't it?). The man banged out three hits last night, had to run the bases a few times, and - to add salt to the wound (there's my doctor-speak creeping in again), fouled a ball off his knee. We may not see the tape-measure home runs, but he's going to be in the middle of things. So don't worry about him. And that's Dr. Kampy's assessment.

Finally we get back to a full slate of games across MLB today. Sox and Jays get going at 7:00. Julian Tavarez vs. Shaun Marcum.

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