Seven innings in the books and the Sox are trailing 4-2. They’ve struggled against a tough lefty, and Alan “Jet Plane” Embree (his ERA is 7.47, it works for now) and the bullpen let the tie slip away. They’ve got a makeshift line-up in, with Damon banged up and Trot sitting out against Lee. Cleveland has, statistically, the best bullpen in the AL. And they’ve got the Indians right where they want them.
With two out and two on in the eighth, back-to-back singles by Olerud (who led off the seventh with a homer) and Mueller get the Sox even. In the ninth, a couple of unlikely heroes steal the show. A lead-off triple (OK, it was a double with an outfield error) by Payton, followed by a double by Edgah!, and an eight pitch ninth by Foulke put this one in the “W” column and complete the sweep of the Indians, the first at the Jake since, you guessed it, 1999.
With the exception of Varitek, who was absolutely horrible at the plate (but, come on, the guy has been a beast all season so give him a break), the TEAM played well once again. And that is becoming the theme of late. Contributions from all around, at the plate and defensively. And do not for a minute discount the ability of Mark Bellhorn to turn the double play. It was a factor sorely missed during the Todd Walker era.
And so we find ourselves 11 games above .500, 13-7 in the month of June, with a nice 9-out-of-10 streak going. In the standings, Baltimore’s lead has slipped to a very thin one game, while the Yankees one-inning win streak was halted by the Rays and they are 4 behind us.
A few quick notes:
Bob Wickman is fat. Not portly. Fat.
Pedroia had a double in his PawSox debut.
Off days are better after a win than after a loss.
I miss Ellis Burks – he was on a pre-game interview on WEEI – he is still the man.
Roger Clemens is not human. He won again.
Coco Crisp is a cool name.
Did anybody recognize the title of yesterday’s post?
And now, for a short time, I leave you in the capable hands of Red. I have no idea what he has in store for you, but I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. I leave bright and early Friday morning for Aruba. 5 days of beaches, gambling, excessive drinking, and general civil disobedience before I’m deported back to Boston. I expect to be cheering for a first-place team when I return.