The headlines for the past couple of games should start with “Once upon a time,” because we are seeing some fairy tale stories playing out in Boston. On the heels of a Clay Buchholz no-hitter, the boys of summer – and I do mean boys – powered the team to another big win yesterday.
Jon Lester started the game in the shadow of Buchholz’s performance the night before. And he came up big, holding the O’s to 2 runs on six hits in six innings. He had to pull his Houdini act to get out of a couple jams, but the end result was a strong outing and a win for the Sox. The bullpen stepped in when Lester tired – Lopez, Okajima and Papelbon each pitched a scoreless inning.
But it wasn’t just Jon Lester in the youth movement yesterday. From the almost-ready-to-shave crew, Jacoby Ellsbury did it all. Two-for-three with his first Major League homer, a stolen base, a highlight-reel catch, and he even fixed the Green Monster scoreboard when a number fell off. In the box score, it was Dustin Pedroia going two-for-four with another great defensive play, and veteran Mike Lowell adding a couple of RBI with a single and a sac fly.
A huge play in this one came from right-fielder JD Drew. No, nothing with the bat. Drew timed a shallow fly ball perfectly, giving himself the right momentum to get a one-hopper to Cash and nail Tejada trying to score. This was after the O’s had loaded the bases with nobody out.
Meanwhile the Yankees were getting their asses handed to them by the Devil Rays. Pettitte and the bullpen gave up 14 hits and eight runs to the last-place Rays. Akinori Iwamura hit a two-run blast after having his bat confiscated the day before – the Yankees once again resorting to bush league ploys.
Tonight, Dice-K takes the hill and we need a legit $100 million start. The lead is six in the East and there’s no reason to let it get any closer.