You knew it was coming, you just didn’t know when. When you see Manny Ramirez hitting .211 with no homeruns this “late” in the season, do you really want to be a pitcher? Dewon Brazelton had the misfortune of being on the mound when Manny found his groove yesterday. Two homeruns (one a grand slam) and six RBI, all the offense the Sox would need to beat down the Devil Rays again. Would anybody be surprised if he goes on a Manny-like tear through a few more pitchers this week?
Matt Clement settled in nicely for his first Red Sox win, giving up just seven hits and two walks over seven innings. Tampa Bay continues to be a scrappy, entertaining team at the plate, but lack the pitching to do anything in the AL East. Brazelton walked six in his 3+ innings, and Manny made him pay. Two of the three baserunners on for the slam reached on walks.
Today we have Kazmir versus Wake, on what may be weather-wise the best day all year to be at the park. Wake has been the ace and should be able to keep the free-swinging Rays fooled. Kazmir runs hot and cold, but look for the offense to continue their assault and complete the sweep.
By the way, the Yankees blew a four run lead in the seventh and lost to the O’s 7-6. Tanyon Sturtze and Tom Gordon combing to ruin a decent outing by Mussina. Kevin Brown returns to the pinstripes to start. If he has a bad outing, the Yankees better hope the clubhouse walls in Camden Yards are padded well.