Tim Wakefield. Every time we think the guy has shown us everything he can do, he reaches into his bag of tricks and shows us something new. It is well documented the lack of run support that has plagued Wake. In his last seven losses, dating back to last June, the team scored a total of three runs for Wakie. So what does Timmy do? Goes out and pitches a friggin‘ seven-inning masterpiece, allowing no runs on just three hits. Hell, he didn’t let a runner get past second base. Enter Big Papi in the 6th – the biggest swinger of all the Papi’s – and you’ve got yourself a one-run lead that looks insurmountable with the sh-t Tim’s been dealing. Look in the Sox bullpen and see a fresh Jon Papelbon foaming at the mouth to avenge his suckfest from the other night, and you knew that Papi blast was gonna stand.
Alex Cora. How long can Francona keep up the Pedroia lovefest the way Cora is playing? It’s not just the .406 batting average (why does that number sound so familiar?) but it’s all the other things Cora does that make him a necessary part of this line-up. He’s just a smart player – the way Marty Barrett was back in the day. Fundamentally sound, good baserunner, good situational hitter…he just “gets it.” Pedroia is really going to have to start showing something to keep playing on a regular basis.
And how about the job Coco Crisp has been doing? His defense has been flawless in center, and finally, his bat is coming around. The Crispy one is 16 for his last 48 – an even .333 batting average. During that stretch, he’s scored 12 runs, swiped 4 bases and only struck out 5 times.
Meanwhile, things weren’t going so well in Yankeetown. The pinstripes got their collective asses handed to them by the Seattle Mariners. Kei Igawa – who has exactly one good out, unfortunately against the Red Sox – was lit up like the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. The tattered bullpen was no help. Colter Bean gave up 4 runs without recording an out, Vizcaino was not effective and “lefty specialist” Mike Myers pitched 4 innings! The Yankees toppled 15-11, and to top it off, Damon’s calf is hurting. Poor Johnny.
Tonight, we party like we’re all south of the border. Let’s hope the Sox don’t trot out in ponchos and sombreros in honor of Cinco De Mayo. But we can!