I spent just about all of last night watching many different baseball games off of the MLB Extra Innings package. I saw the entire Red Sox-Mariners game, with the feed coming from NESN. It was the first time I had watched NESN in my house, and it was a weird feeling. I usually watch the NESN Red Sox games in a bar with friends, and there's usually some background noise to accompany it. It was a tremendously pitched game by the Sox. Curt Schilling won his third straight game, going eight innings and allowing just one earned run. He shut down Ichiro Suzuki all night, but none bigger than in the sixth inning, when Seattle had a man on third with one out. He struck him out, and hten got the next batter to end the threat. Schill looks like the dominating pitcher of old.
Speaking of dominating, Jonathan Papelbon came on in the ninth, and with one out, threw a 2-2 pitch right by Ichiro that he couldn't catch up with for the second out. He got Raul Ibanez to ground out to end the game for his sixth save. Papelbon is without the best closer in baseball right now, and his battle with Ichiro should open up some eyes.
I just heard that David Wells maybe going back to the DL, as he's having knee problems again. Lenny DiNardo may be getting the start Wells would have had, on Patriots Day. So, does Papelbon go into the rotation if Wells is out for a long period, or remain the closer? Tough call, but it would be tought to move him out of position he's absolutely dominating right now.
I also saw a good part of the Mets-Brewers game last night. The game was delayed over 90 minutes by rain, but they got it going. The Mets won, 4-3, after a terrific performance by Tom Glavine. The Mets now have the best record in baseball at 8-1, and it is their best start since 1985.
Don't think George Steinbrenner and his minions aren't keeping close tabs on the Mets. He was asked about them the other day, and he just shrugged and said, "we'll be ready for the them." Right now the Mets are getting the back pages of the New York tabloids, and the Yankees are at .500 at 5-5. Privately, The Boss must be fuming. Steinbrenner may dislike the Red Sox, but he HATES the Mets far more. The Sox don't share the same city and press coverage as the Yankees. If the Mets take back the city from the Yankees it would kill him far more than what happened to his team in the 2004 playoffs.
I've been seeing far more Mets hats lately around the city. Obviously the great Mets start has much to do with that. But sportswriter Phil Pepe once said that "New York is a National League baseball city." He's absolutely right. The next Mets world championship would drive New York City into a total frenzy.
At 12:40 AM, the Giants-Dodgers game began after a 2 hour rain delay. I watched about the first four innings of that contest. The LA fans greeted Barry Bonds warmly, with a steady chorus of boos each time he was up. I saw his first two at-bats, and he looked late on many of Brad Penny's pitches. Penny challenged him a number of times, and Bonds flied out to left his first two times up. The Giants won, 2-1, and Bonds went 0 for 2 and 2 walks. Bonds is hitting .167, still hasn't hit a homer and has 1 RBI so far.
I just finished "Game of Shadows", and I'll have more on that and Bonds next week.