Hey Manny!

I must admit, things do seem more relaxed in Red Sox Nation in the absence of Manny Ramirez. The Beard-Which-Should-Not-Be-Mentioned hit a couple out of the yard last night, the threat of being slapped around in the dugout now gone. And the Nation’s new fave Jason Bay did it again; a three-run homer to put the Sox in front for good.

Of course, I take the long view of things. Just like I know this whole “internet” thing is just a fad and will soon go the way of the dinosaur and the CB radio, I know that two games does not make a season. It’s very possible that the revitalized offense just ran into a bad pitcher. The Sox have fared well against lefties all year, and when you find one with a habit of walking a lot of batters, you make him throw strikes. Then you hit the strikes.

Speaking of pitching, how about Jon Lester? The guy comes out in the first and it looks like it’s gonna be a long night for the bullpen. Then he goes six more shutout innings, giving up just three hits in those six. Lester is now 10-3 with a 3.14 ERA, and has gone seven innings or more in eight of his last nine starts. He has been the ace in 2008.

Let’s not forget what good defense can do for a team. Mike Lowell, who left the game with a bad hip the night before, put on a show at third base. At least three times, he robbed the A’s of hits. One or two of those were Web Gem candidates.

A rare day game at the Fens, with the Dice Man on the hill. Three in a row would be nice, wouldn’t it?