A funny thing happens when you put a pitcher without much in the way of stuff against a team that, in spite of all its faults and difficulties, likes to hit: they score runs. Oftentimes a lot of them. And that's exactly what the Red Sox did today. Single after single in the first led to three, a big Ortiz homer in the third made it five, and from there we were just off to the races.
Josh Beckett made us sweat in the first and its immediate aftermath. After allowing a leadoff hit, Beckett got ahead of Joe Mauer, Josh Willingham, and Justin Morneau (0-2, 1-2, and 0-2 respectively), and ended up surrendering walks to each one of them, bringing the run in to score in the process.
After that, though, it was pretty smooth sailing for Beckett. The 37 pitches in the first prevented him from really lasting deep into the game, but he finished strong in the sixth, striking out the side before being replaced by Scott Atchison.
And Scott! Matt Albers! What can you say about them?
They did not surrender a nine-run lead. That's what you can say about them. And for that, we are thankful.
The Red Sox win, and tomorrow they go for the sweep.