I think he likes Boston. (via d.yimg.com)
I love this team.
Just watching Jason Bay and Jed Lowrie jumping around after winning the game made me so happy. This is a team that wants to play baseball and wants to win. That was obvious in the later innings. But after Bay crossed the plate for the winning run, did you see what he did? He got excited. He is finally playing meaningful baseball for a contender. This guy deserves it and he's going to lead us down the stretch into the playoffs.
Bay hit the huge triple in the bottom of the 12th with two outs to give the Sox a shot. He finished 1 for 3 with both runs, two walks and a hit by pitch. He was on base four times -- yes, four. And did you see him run when he hit the triple off the wall? Yup, that was our starting left fielder running around the basepaths and running hard. What a sight for sore eyes.
I can only imagine how Bay felt in his first at bat when he received a standing ovation. He had to step out of the box twice because it was so much. It was another class-act performance by the Fenway Faithful and I'm sure it's not going to stop there.
JD Drew finished 2 for 3 with three walks. Stud? Mhmm. The guy knows where the zone is and he's hitting the balls that find that zone, laying off when they aren't. With Drew and Bay batting back-to-back, we're in a good spot.
Where are the JedHeads out there? Of course Lowrie was huge, knocking in Bay twice. Once early on for the sac fly and then in the 12th. Nothing special, just a little bouncer that went over Alan Embree's head and made Bobby Crosby double-clutch.
The more I watch Lowrie play, the more I'm convinced he is the Red Sox's shortstop of the future. He's becoming more comfortable at the plate and his defense looks solid. What a great double play combination of him and Dustin Pedroia. If our defense is Lowrie, Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell for years to come, we're all set.
But most importantly, we won a game. Yes, it's the A's and they aren't a great club but a win is a win. We need to string them together to have a chance. The Sox should build off this; there's a lot of momentum here. The Sox need to hold on to it and put some more wins on the board if we want to compete down the stretch.
The downsides? Yeah, there are some. Lowell doesn't look good at the plate and, perhaps, David Ortiz looked even worse tonight. That's not good for our No. 3 and 4 hitters. But hey, we had our No. 5 and 6 guys pick them right up. They can't do that every night, but once in awhile it's OK.
Two great defensive plays of the night: Alex Cora's diving stop up the middle, turn and fired to get the out at first base. Then early in the game, with a runner on third base, Bay made a sliding catch to prevent the run. As Lou Merloni just said on NESN, "Manny wouldn't have made that play."
Tim Wakefield was very solid tonight. He threw too many pitches, but he was effective. Hideki Okajima pitched well, but left one a little too much over the plate for Jack Cust to knock over the wall. All other relievers (yes, even Mike Timlin!) had perfect innings (Jonathan Papelbon had two).
Did I mention how much I love this team?