First things first, yesterday’s game was played in Baltimore, right? At Camden Yards? Because unless it was just a souped-up NESN trick, it seemed to me like the crowd was almost 100% pro-Red Sox, cheering after every Baltimore strike out and roaring at every Sox hit. It almost got to the point of embarassment, really. Like where you feel so bad for the O’s, you want to drive over to the park in person to dish out hot roast beef sandwiches for Miggy, Conine and crew.
Nevertheless, after Friday’s 14-run stompathon, it was good to see another old-fashioned nut grinder. One of those everything-hangs-on-every-pitch games where you clutch onto your precious, slender lead like Roger Ebert straddling the last cheesecake on the dessert cart, and pray to God and Sonny Jesus that when the final out is recorded, you’ll still have it secured in your grip.
Thankfully, we had Schill on the hill to make it happen. Man, I know he’s only two games in, but giving up a scant three hits over seven innings, dude looks like he’s back. Further, he looks like a man possessed out there, his eyes a bit buggier and his hair a bit wilder than it seemed over the past couple years (toss a Sox cap on Doc from Back to the Future and you’re halfway there). Maybe it’s the presence of a couple young studs in Beckett and Papelbon that has him strapping on the guns; a desire to show the kids who’s boss. Maybe it’s the personal need to erase the messy epic that was his 2005 season. Whatever the case, Schilling is on, and if he stays that way throughout the summer, the good times will most definitely roll.
And while our offense only conjured 7 hits, they came from some inspiring places. Like Manny continuing to get himself into “destroy all” mode with another couple hits, one a wicked rocket off the right field wall. Tek had a couple doubles, knocking in the winning run. Hell, even Youkilis’ bat played a key role — a sentence we hope we’ll be reading with greater frequency as the season progresses — plating the first run of the game. Wily Mo, on the other hand, look like someone trying to bring down Saturn, swinging furiously but catching only air in his two at bats. Had he ever connected, though… holy god.
So today, we have the promise of sunshine in the Boston area. And Timmy on the hill against the craft Rodrigo Lopez. And the Yankees 1-4. And the hometown opener just two days away.