Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Sox Club Robo-Closer (W 7-3, season 1-2)

Two games gone into the season, Terry Francona was hospitalized with chest tightness. Francona has a remote history of pulmonary emboli following surgery, and certainly will be evaluated for heart pain as well. We can only hope he had a case of reverse pennant fever, also known as performance anxiety. As I said in another column, managing a bunch of idiots isn't so simple. Sox fans wish Francona a speedy recovery.

Absent the Skipper, first Mate Gilligan, er, Brad Mills led the locals to a stirring 7-3, comeback victory as the Sox handed uber-closer Mariano Rivera another blown save, this time with a defeat cherry on top. Three hits, three walks, and a timely A-Rod error led to a super-sized crooked number as the Sox pushed across five runs in the ninth.

Tim Wakefield produced a quality start for the Sox, and Mike Timlin picked up the Sox first victory of the year. Edgar Renteria got off the schneid with a key two-run RBI single in the ninth, getting those ducks off the pond. If the adage of you win 60, you lose 60, and what happens in the other 42 determines your season, the Sox lost 1, and split 1-1 in 'the other'.

The Sox outhit the Yankees 14-4 in today's meaningless statistical entry. "Basehit or No-hit" Mark Bellhorn solidified the pole position in the strikeout race with seven after three games, but is hitting .417.

Today's 'you don't see that' feature, count Rivera's three walks. Usually, it's boom, boom, boom with the hard fast ball inside and the cutter away, but one wonders whether the Sox have gotten inside Mo's head.

The Sox head next to Toronto for a date with Canadian Club.

Baseball education of the day: pitchers and catchers use a variety of indicators for the signs. My favorite: the first signal is the indicator, for example, two fingers means that the next sign will be the 'real' sign. One finger down first means fastball, although you can also call for the heater with a sequence like 2-1-1-2 or 3-2-1-2.

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