The Red Sox always seem to inspire some extra emotion and controversy, and nothing changed today. The Sox acquired former closer Billy Wagner from the Mets, likely guaranteeing themselves a pair of first round compensation picks if nothing else.
After dropping two of three to the Yankees, the Sox rebounded with an ugly win over the Pale Hose last night and are battling ugly again tonight. Jacoby Ellsbury set the team record for steals; somehow I expected a Hendersonesque holding up the bag...fortunately we didn't see that.
Jon Lester pitched 6 2/3rds pretty good innings, allowing three runs, the last two on a wild pitch strikeout and a liner off Mike Lowell's outstretched glove. Unfortunate.
On the other hand, Victor Martinez delivered a pinch single to score Nick Green, pinch-running for Jason Varitek who had doubled.
More on Wagner...you can never have too many quality arms on the staff, and Wagner adds another option against the tough lefties like Matsui and Pena down the stretch. Daniel Bard seems to have hit the wall recently, not having many clean innings, and suffering 'wild in the strike zone' with too many centered fastballs.
Ironically, the key to the stretch run could be the return of Daisuke Matsuzaka, who won 33 games in two seasons, and has largely been unavailable this season.
If we have to rely on the combination of Clay Buchholz and Junichi Tazawa against the big dogs, then we'll all have pretty short fingernails by October. Let's hope that Tazawa can have a sizable fraction of the career of another 'three A' lefty, Frank Tanana.
Jerry Remy has returned seamlessly to the booth, which we would have expected from such a seasoned professional. He and Don Orsillo both seem to be able to view the RemDawg's ordeal with a touch of humor, even commenting on Remy's relationship with Wally, now back in the booth.
One of my daughter's California friends, displaced New Englanders got a new dog, which they've named 'Rem' as in Rem the Dog.