Although like most Red Sox games, it wasn't pretty, it was a 'W'. Thirteen was lucky as Jonathan Papelbon was the answer today, delivering a four out save including inducing the 'Juice Guy', Jason Giambi, to pop up to end the game. The Sox went well behind enemy lines emerging from New York with a pair of wins.
Mark Loretta has forged a major offensive turnaround this week, raising his average from .220 to .280 in a week, and 'The Talisman', Wily Mo Pena had a hit and a pair of walks before giving way to Willie Harris who chipped in with a hit and speed to score a run. Mariano Rivera couldn't finish off Youkilis, who singled in an insurance run in the ninth.
Not lost in the effort were a pair of key strikeouts by Mike Timlin in relief to preserve the 4-3 lead, as he punched out Giambi and A-Rod.
In addition to a pair of homerun-robbing thefts by Bubba Crosby (off Lowell) and Damon (off Mirabelli), the Sox flasthed the leather as well, with Kevin Youkilis making a number of terrific plays, and Varitek digging out a Papelbon splitter on strike 3 and throwing out Cairo at first.
Meanwhile, the future, lefthander Jon Lester, worked five innings for the Pawsox, yielding an earned run and collecting his second straight win. He fanned six and walked none, as he preps to become a piece of the puzzle after the break.
34 games into the season, one would have to pick Papelbon as the team MVP, as he seems to relish the chance to close and finish off the opposition. I'm still lobbying for Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill as Papelbon's theme song, "My heart going boom boom boom...Son, he said, grab your things I've come to take you home".
David Ortiz comes in a close second for being 'Big Papi', and in third a horse race between comebacking Curt Schilling and the nine million dollar 'throw-in' Mike Lowell.