All-Star Game at Washington

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Taking Years Off My Life

For a long time I have always kiddingly said that being a Red Sox fan has probably taken about five years off my life. I think that those five years may have all been from today's game.

Jon Lester once again struggled to give the Red Sox five innings, and he gave up four runs in the first two innings. I know he's a rookie pitcher, and I love his poise. But he has to learn better control, and not go to so many full counts. He's still one of the crown jewels of the Red Sox system and has a very bright future ahead of him. But watching him pitch these drives my blood pressure up ever so slightly.

The game appeared to be a laugher by the seventh, as Kevin Youkilis' three run-shot put the Sox up, 10-6. But Manny Delcarmen struggled, as well as Craig Hansen, trying to finish the game. And the slide of Jonathan Papelbon continues. No one figured he'd be so spectacular all season, but he had lots of trouble with his command in the ninth, walking two, including one with the bases loaded to make it 11-9. This was a game the Red Sox absolutely could not let get away, especially after all the problems they had late in games on the previous road trip. Mike Lowell, once again Man of the Hour, made a terrific play on Melvin Mora's grounder to end the game. (And I never saw Papelbon so happy after a save!) Lowell also got it all going in the first with a grand slam to put the Red Sox ahead.

That was some weekend for a guy who was just an afterthought and a throw-in in the Josh Beckett trade. Spectacular fielding, a grand slam and a konk on the head. Bet he won't forget this series for a while.

The Yankees went down to defeat in the Bronx, so the Sox are now 1 game back in the AL East. It was another roller-coaster ride with the Sox on Sunday. I can't take too many more ninth innings like the one we went through today.

Games like this also reminded me what the late Ray Goulding, of the legendary comedy team Bob and Ray and a big Sox fan, once said that he wanted to have put on his tombstone: "Cause of death: Boston Red Sox." I'm not sure if that is actually on Mr. Goulding's headstone, as he died in 1990.

But one of these days, they're going to get me. Or send me packing a few years too early.

1 comment:

Peter N said...

Mikey ruled yesterday. And I too was feeling the strain big-time in that unending ninth.