Saturday, September 08, 2007

Fireworks in Baltimore

About a month ago, the big problem for Daisuke Matsuzaka was the inability of his own team to score runs. Who knew the problem would eventually reverse itself and it would be Dice-K struggling to keep the opposing lineup off the board?

After tonight's 11-5 loss to the Baltimore Orioles - punctuated by a 3rd inning meltdown by Matsuzaka - the Japanese ace has now given up at least five runs in three consecutive starts. Tonight's outing was the worst of his short major league career, as he gave up bombs to guys named Tike Redman and Scott Moore, and yielded 8 earned runs in all. Combined with the Yanks' identical 11-5 win over Kansas City tonight - A-Rod hit his 50th and 51st homers - the AL East lead now stands at 5.5 games.

Coming into tonight's disappointment, things were coming along nicely. The Sox had taken the first two from the Orioles, with Friday night's game providing some fireworks. Allow me to set the scene. The Sox were winning 4-0 against hothead Daniel Cabrera and the O's, and Coco Crisp laid down a surprise bunt to reach first base. Cabrera gave him a little look as he made his way to first, as if it's some kind of rule that a guy can't lay down a bunt on him. Silly Coco. Coco eventually made his way to third base, where he danced and pranced enough towards home plate to distract Cabrera and cause a balk. Next? You guessed it. Cabrera threw a 95 mph fastball behind the head of Dustin Pedroia, and the home plate ump - instead of instantly tossing Cabrera - inexplicably came out and gave a prompt warning to both teams. This didn't stop the Sox from jawing at Cabrera, who's always had a million-dollar arm and a 10-cent brain, and Cabrera was only too happy to jaw right back. Both benches emptied and the bullpens ran in (love when the bullpen guys run in), and Cabrera - while being held back by one of the umps - looked like he was ready to take someone on. His aggression might have been what caused him to get ejected from the game, which really should have happened after he almost killed Pedroia.

It was a big-time bush league move by a hotheaded pitcher, and I give Orioles manager Dave Trembley a lot of credit. Asked a day later about Cabrera's standard B.S. excuse that the ball slipped out of his hand, the skipper said, 'yeah, and my dog ate my homework too.' Classic, and pretty cool. Trembley even went out of his way to compliment the Sox on how they handled themselves during the situation. We'll see if young Daniel gets the Joba Chamberlain treatment from MLB. I'm guessing he gets a 2 or 3-game suspension from the league office.

Anyway, Josh Beckett toes the slab tomorrow in search of his 18th victory so here's hoping the Sox can take 3 of 4 from the hapless Orioles. Dice-K's troubles, though, are a concern heading into October.

Switching sports for a moment, tomorrow's a big day for the Patriots, who open up their 2007 season in New York against the Jets. Nothing like fall Sundays, when you've got both the Sox and Pats in action. We're spoiled around here. Prediction: Patriots 28, Jets 17.

fall classic
....usf beats auburn at auburn in ot.....breaks into top 25 for 1st time!!!!!
Does it make more sense for you and Kristen to just email each other every day instead, skipping the blog part entirely?
kirsten doesnt read this rag, and I'm to lazy to resubmit as "other" blogger guy

my mistake ranked 26 & 27th respectively
going higher than bc eagles?
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