"You're never as good as you look when you win, or as bad as you look when you lose."
Res ipsa loquitur*. The Sox and Phillies exchanged Alphonse and Gaston routines today, as each attempted to give away the game, before the Phillies succeeded, losing 12-8 to the Sox.
The Sox continued to knock the ball around and out of the park, with three more homers, including ones by Mark Bellhorn (5), Manny Ramirez (19), and Jason Varitek (13). Ramirez is a remarkable case, near the league lead in RBI and homers, and now in the top 10 in OPS (.914), despite seeming to struggle for most of the year. He also had his league-leading 10th outfield assist.
Ironically, it was 'small ball' that ignited the 8th inning rally as Johnny Damon laid down a perfect drag bunt against Rheal Cormier. Baseball fans will remember that portsiders have a natural follow-through to the third base side, making fielding drag bunts more difficult.
Relief pitching, thy name is inconsistency, with David Wells surrendering 5 runs in 5 innings, Matt Mantei pitching a solid 6th (so much for the Blass theory), Alan Embree blowing up in the 7th, ably assisted by Ramon Vasquez infield play, and Mike Timlin and Keith Foulke putting the lid on over the last three innings.
From a consistency standpoint, triumphant Terry Francona has to weather Prozac moments when calling to the pen. No wonder the skipper had his 'fake heart attack' earlier this season.
In twenty-two games in June, the Sox have scored 131 runs, and are at .353/.506/.859. For the season, the Sox are at 3, 5, 10, 16, and 22 in OPS (Ortiz, Varitek, Ramirez, Nixon, Damon) and Bill Mueller is at 32. The Orioles are at 1, 4, and 15 with Brian Roberts, Miggy Tejada, and Melvin Mora, and Texas has 8, 9, 11, 13, and 17 with Teixeira, Dellucci, Mench, Soriano, and Young, with Blalock at 34.
Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz are 1-2 in RBI, both in the top 5 in homers, and Damon (2) and Ortiz (6) are among the leaders in runs scored.
Next up for the Sox is Cleveland, with the Sox missing C.C. Sabathia who worked today.
* Literally, the thing speaks for itself.