Curt Schilling gets the topic sentence tonight, with his eighth victory, tieing him for the Major League lead, and his 200th career victory. Congratulations.
Once again the Sox played error-free baseball, and
Last night's abusee, Keith Foulke, came out tonight to attempt to bridge to Jonathan Papelbon. 1-2-3. And Kevin Youkilis is likely to be displaced as the leadoff man with Coco Crisp's return imminent. Admittedly Youkilis hasn't earned the status of, let's say, Michael Bishop, but he's become pretty entrenched at the top of the order.
Youkilis played left tonight, with Manny getting a day off, and Snow in May at first. Coming into tonight, Youkilis was 14th in the AL in batting (.317), 6th in on base percentage (.421), and 21st in on OPS (.928). He raised his numbers to .321, .440, and .940 tonight. Sometimes you have to wonder whether there are other prospects buried in the minors who could produce at the major league level.
It's three consecutive appearances for Papelbon, who threw only 5 pitches last night. Seems like he needs a guaranteed day off tomorrow. Let's hope that the Sox don't need a lot of pitches from him tonight. They didn't. It was yet another Solsbury Hill close. BOOM-BOOM-BOOM, as Papelbon picked up his 18th save. His career ERA is 1.68. Not many innings, of course.
A lot of us consider Dick Radatz the best reliever the Sox ever had, although his star burnt out quickly. I think that Radatz averaged 25 saves, with different rules. http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/radatdi01.shtml Right for once.
Craig Hansen pitched four scoreless innings tonight for Pawtucket (four walks a negative), and Barry Hertzler got promoted from Portland and picked up the win with three scoreless, one-hit innings. Hertzler had a 1.05 ERA at Portland.
Edgar Martinez surrendered a two-run ninth inning homer to interrupt his solid pitching for the SeaDogs in their loss.
Jacoby Ellsbury continues to play well for Wilmington as an outfielder on the rise.
Some more roster shuffling in the offing with Crisp's return soon. Wily Mo Pena was off again with a sore wrist, so will that mean a trip to the DL for the Coyote? Or does it mean that J.T. Snow's days are numbered. Willie Harris has the designated 'Dave Roberts'.
Kevin Youkilis expanded his Rotisserie value with an appearance in left field tonight. Maybe he needs another shot at second if Loretta gets a day off soon.
Meanwhile, the Bombers exacted their revenge 15-4, as the Chiefs, er Royals, defense held them to five field goals. Detroit wins again, and at 35-14 has the best record in MLB. The Tigers have pretty good pitching with Rogers, Bonderman, Robertson, Maroth, and Verlander, and a very big, pitcher friendly ballpark. With an ERA 0.86 runs less than everyone else in the AL. However, their K/BB ratio is only sixth at 1.98, so they may be due to come back to the pack. I don't know how K/BB ratios normalize for ballparks concerning statistical correlation for ERA. On the other hand, the Tigers have yielded on 44 homers, tied for second best in the AL.