Monday, May 23, 2011
Tim Wakefield: your grandparents' favorite Red Sox player
I'd say the weekend series against the Chicago Cubs was a success for the Boston Red Sox.
Sure, a nightmare of an eighth inning on Saturday night prevented them from getting the sweep but Friday's blowout win (15-5) and last night's tidy 5-1 win at Fenway Park proved that the Red Sox (25-21) are built to win any type of game. On the other side, the Cubs (20-25) are not very good at all as this weekend proved and it's going to be another long season, not that they're drunken fans will really notice.
Tim Wakefield (1-1) helped Boston win its eighth game in its last nine tries, his first victory of 2011. The oldest player in MLB went 6.2 innings, allowing four hits and one earned run with three strikeouts.
With Matt Garza scratched from the start with elbow trouble, the Cubs had to rely on a shaky bullpen, led by some bum named James Russell (1-5). He went four innings, allowing seven hits, three earned runs, one walk with two strikeouts before turning it over to three other scrubs and Kerry Wood.
Adrian Gonzalez continued to be the best hitter in baseball not named Jose Bautista as he went 4 for 4 with a double and two runs scored. Dustin Pedroia added two hits and a run, David Ortiz had two hits and Kevin Youkilis added a two-run triple.
The Red Sox scored twice in the fourth on RBI sacrifice flies by Jed Lowrie and Mike Cameron (who shouldn't have a job in baseball anymore) which scored Gonzalez and Youkilis respectively.
Saltalamacchia crushed his third homer in four games (yes even he has started to hit, a sure sign of the Apocalypse) in the fifth, his third of the season for a 3-0 Boston lead.
Jeff Baker's RBI double in the seventh spoiled Wakefield's unlikely shutout bid, scoring Starlin Castro.
Youkilis hit his two-run triple off Wood in the seventh to the triangle in center. Pedroia and Gonzalez scored on the play.
After getting two games off, Daniel Bard looked refreshed and worked out of the seventh and got a clean eighth, finishing with two strikeouts.
Jonathan Papelbon allowed a hit but struck out two in the ninth during the non-save situation.
What better place for the Red Sox to go than Cleveland? The Indians are the best team in baseball right now and they swept Boston in the first week of April. This three-game set could serve to show how far the Red Sox have come from that disastrous start and April in general. Clay Buchholz opposes former Red Sox Justin Masterson tonight. I'd be shocked if Cleveland sweeps Boston again.