Yesterday's Red Sox loss in Oakland was one of those "we've won the series and the plane home is waiting for us" kind of affairs. The offense was already on the flight when Danny Haren pitched seven solid innings for the A's, and two Frank Thomas homers led them to a 5-1 victory. Kyle Snyder made two mistakes to Thomas that cost him the game. He started out strong, allowing just 2 hits over the first three innings. More and more, Snyder looks like he may have a role on this team, and it might be as a long man in the bullpen. In all of his starts, he pitches well for the first 3 or 4 innings, and then the wheels come off. The Red Sox don't have a genuine long reliever right now, so that maybe where he'll fit in when David Wells and Tim Wakefield return.
The lead in the AL East is now down to 1 1/2, as the Texas Rangers once again laid down like dogs to the Yankees in Arlington. A great comeback by Texas in the eighth wasn't enough as Jason Giambi hit a two-run homer in the ninth to win it. They've now lost seven straight at home to New York. Thanks a whole bunch, guys.
The highlight yesterday was at my favorite New York pub, when my pal Eric brought Sheila Papelbon to the bar. That last name may sound familiar. She is the mother of Jonathan Papelbon, the best closer in baseball. I met her, and she's a really nice lady. She and Eric work in the same company, and she works down South. Eric had shown her the New York Magazine article about the "kayreoke" night, the one in which I made a comment about her son. ("If Jonathan Papelbon ran for governor of Massachusetts, he would probably win.") She told me she found it rather funny.
We talked about a number of things regarding her son and the Red Sox, and Jonathan sounds like as nice a person as she is. She, of course, is a big Red Sox fan and was wearing a Sox jersey with her son's name and number on it. It was fun to hear from her about Jonathan's take on stardom with the Red Sox, and that he's handling it very well. She asked me about how I became a Red Sox fan living in New York. I told her about my parents being Brooklyn Dodgers/Mets fans and Yankee haters, and how that runs in my family. Sheila was truly amazed at the number of Red Sox fans here in New York City, and loved the fact that there was a bar (actually several) that caters to Sox fans here. We hope to see her back later this year, hopefully at a time when the Red Sox are wrapping up the AL East title.