Once again, the Red Sox are proving to be a team you just don't give up on. They had some rotten news in the afternoon, as Josh Beckett had a stiff neck, probably brought on by the flu a few players and coaches have been battling the past week. Jason Varitek was again on the shelf because of the flu (and Dustin Pedroia was the emergency catcher), as was Manny Delcarmen.
So in Beckett's place was David Pauley, who last saw the majors back in 2006. (I was at Thom's early yesterday, and that program "Yankee Classics" was on YES. They showed that game where Melky Cabrera made the catch to rob Manny of a home run in 2006. You know, when Johnny Damon acted like a four-year-old after he caught it. And who pitched that night for the Sox, and very well? One David Pauley. I was wondering what had happened to him. And an hour later, he's up to replace the Commander last night. Bizarre. And on a side note, when is YES going to show my favorite "Yankee Classic?" Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. I'm not holding my breath.)
Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a home run and Pauley retired the first six. But the wheels came off, and he gave up five runs, mostly to the lower half of the LA Angels order. But these are the Red Sox were talking here, and they chipped away. A Papi RBI single and a Kevin Youkilis Monster-seat blast tied the score. Trivia Night got going so I had to sneak some peeks, but another Jacoby blast and an Angels run on a Casey Kotchman homer tied it up again. But it was Ellsbury and Pedroia to the rescue again. A Jacoby single and a Pedroia double put the Red Sox ahead to stay, 7-6. The top of the lineup that wowed the baseball world during the World Series last year was back again. Ellsbury led the charge with two homers, and Dusty had three doubles.
It was the sixth Red Sox comeback in their last eight games, and their tenth of the year already. They now have the best record in the AL, and with Papi's early season woes, no Schilling, and an injured Mike Lowell. This could really be another special year.