David McCarty proved to everyone why he should be getting more playing time. Last night he was the catalyst. His plays on defense and at the plate sparked the Sox to a much-needed 4-0 win over Baltimore in the night cap of a double-header.
In the first inning Baltimore had runners at the corners with no outs and Melvin Mora at the plate, and Red Sox Nation collectively reached for the clicker in hopes of finding a good Seinfeld rerun. Mora drove a ball to medium left and it looked to be another first inning deficit. But seconds later clickers were put down (not out of reach, but down) as McCarty made the easy catch and gunned down Brian Roberts at the plate.
In the bottom of the inning McCarty came up with 2 out and bases loaded. The clickers are still close by, maybe it will be the one with the soup Nazi. McCarty slaps a two-run single to right, and thus begins the healing process for a win-starved fandom. Unlikely heroes lined up behind McCarty to secure one win, and the hopes of many. Kevin Youkilis, fresh from Pawtucket, would add a solo shot into the monster seats. Youkilis and McCarty combined for 4 hits while the top of the line-up went 0-for-14. Ricky Gutierrez, playing his first game in a Red Sox uniform, made a nice flip to Bellhorn to start an inning-ending double play.
Tim Wakefield, who five days ago was drilled in the back by a line drive and questionable to make his next start was absolutely brilliant. He scattered 8 hits, giving up no runs and striking out 4. Not only did he not walk a batter, but he only went to a 3-ball count twice all night. His seven gutsy innings also got the bullpen some much-needed rest.
It was a very 2003-like game featuring solid starting pitching and major contributions from the role players and reserves at the bottom of the line-up. The win stopped a two-game losing streak and prevented the O’s from sweeping. More important, it gives the Sox a little momentum and a lot of confidence going into a weekend series with the Yankees. Tomorrow, Schilling faces Lieber, and you’ve got to feel good about that matchup.
By the way, Manny still leads the league with one interception…