OK, I’ll admit it. In the first inning I was calling for Wells’ head. I was contemplating what the team would do with him, considering the three million dollar signing bonus and the two million per year base. I was developing all kinds of proof in my head that he was still a conspiring Yankee, the mark of Steinbrenner embossed somewhere on his body. Christ, I was starting to see pinstripes on his uniform. Then something happened – he started throwing a curve ball. Not just any lame-ass hanging breaking ball – but an honest-to-goodness, “crafy lefthander” buckle-your-knees-or-freeze-you-in-place-or-leave-you-swinging-at-air curveball. And then, the offense took over.
Well, at least the first five hitters took over. They combined for all fourteen Sox hits, all seven runs scored and all seven RBI. Edgah!, hitting in the two-hole, went 4/5 with a homerun, and has raised his average to a Renteria-like .295, and suddenly everyone in New England “knew he’d break out of it”. Adding to the satisfaction of taking the series was watching A-Rod boot balls around third base, while Mueller made every play, including a diving grab on a ball that took a bad bounce. The box score only shows one error, but we know he made two, letting the ball play him, and today his therapist will know.
So, by the end of the night, Wells regained his grip on a spot in the rotation and silenced, at least for the moment, his critics (including me). And despite the dronings of Miller and Morgan, and the rough first inning, the game was great. This is the offense everyone expected, and there is no reason to think it will stop. The team is back in the friendly confines of Fenway, the weather is sparkling, and the games against the Orioles represent the path to first place in the AL East.
Baseball aside for a moment, let’s not forget why we all have the day off today.