Sunday, April 26, 2009

No Better Than This: Sox Sweep NY

Jacoby Ellsbury: a man among men. A player with the guts of a burglar.

And for his sake, thank God he made it home safely in the fifth last night.

And J.D. Drew had the good sense and stepped aside while Jacoby came roaring in.

For the first time in two years, a player pulled off a straight steal of home last night. Ellsbury saw that Yankees third baseman Angel Berroa was playing far off the bag with two outs. He got an enormous lead off third and broke for the plate. He stumbled as he made his dive at the plate but was still ahead of Jorge Posada's tag.

And I thank the NYC subway system for getting me home in time to see it, as I walked in my door about two minutes before Jacoby pulled off his heroics. (That maybe the first and probably last time I thank them for anything in my lifetime.)

The Red Sox drove the stake into the MFY's hearts last night, and completed a sweep of the weekend series, 4-1. And in a brilliant move last night, the Sox called up Michael Bowden to pitch out of the pen, and reired all six hitters he faced in the seventh and eighth. And this was after Hunter Jones got out of the top of the sixth by retiring two batters with two on. (Bowden went back to Pawtucket after the game, and Julio Lugo will be activated tonight in Cleveland.)

The weekend makes it clear that the Sox have New York beat in one major gigantic category: pitching, especially the bullpen. It was a disaster for New York, as their so-called greatest closer of all-time gave up a 4-2 lead with one out to go, and their newest mercenary on the mound coughed up a six-run advantage. They are now dead last in the AL in ERA and next-to-last in bullpen ERA. And remember, even if what happened to Mariano Rivera is just a bump in the road, he can't pitch every day.

The Red Sox have now won ten in a row. Justin Masterson was again terrific last night, and with the performances by Jones and Bowden, it shows how much depth the Red Sox have in their farm system as far as pitching goes. takashi Saito got his second save, as Jonathan Papelbon got the night off. And I haven't mentioned the Sox don't have Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard or John Smoltz on their roster. Yet.

We've got a long way to go in this baseball season, but the Sox sent a message last night. My thanks to Surviving Grady for the above photo of Jacoby and Tito. Tito has that look on his face like, "Boy, did we catch you suckers napping." The Yankees are in serious trouble today, no matter what type of "It's only April" spin they try to put on the mess they are in right now.

And there are fewer beautiful words in the English language than this: Red Sox sweep New York.

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