Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tamped Down

Seven for seven for Jonathan Papelbon with a death struggle to get out of a bases-loaded ninth inning jam to defeat the visiting Rays and move the Sox to 10-4.

Matt Clement started and pitched well, before tiring in the eighth. It seemed like a logical time to go to the bullpen, but nevermind.

Papelbon required over 30 pitches to dispose of Tampa as his mechanics were off, with his front shoulder flying out resulting in some inconsistency. The point was well-made however that several Rays, including Cantu, Gomes, and Travis Lee put on great at-bats.

Stuff you don't see. First, the four outfielders shift against Ortiz, which failed because he put a couple off the Monstah. Second, a walk-off diving catch in centerfield, reminiscent of Fred Lynn.

Kevin Youkilis has certainly earned a place in the lineup with key hitting, and tonight was no exception with an eighth inning gapper of the base of the wall near the 379 market to plate the two go-ahead runs.

Nitwit radio. Today the shut-ins couldn't get enough licks in against Wily Mo Pena. Pena is a young player gaining experience. He appears to have some concept at the plate, as he's not up there blindly hacking at everything. Also, Trot Nixon, in addition to an injury history, is in his contract year, and could easily walk next year, depending on what his family and monetary preferences are.

It's easy to criticize, but the Sox have generally played pretty good ball, and came into the game with a 3.90 E.R.A., pretty respectable in the American League in 2006.

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