Thank you, Boston Red Sox, for you have finally shown the hitting that you are capable of and the pitching that should be standard.
Curt Schilling is the ace once again. He hasn't been as consistent as Tim Wakefield has been lately - I don't think anyone has - but he's been damn good in a few starts since coming back from the closer role. I still don't believe he's where he was at last season, but this Schilling will have to do. I think that it is impossible for him to get back to his status last year considering he was the second best pitcher in the bigs last season.
Manny Delcarmen pitched the eighth inning after Schilling's terrific seven innings. Delcarmen was near perfect as he hit one batter, but from there on out he struck out the side. How good do we have it with Jonathan Papelbon, Craig Hansen and Delcarmen? The future is bright, and no one can deny that. Not to mention Jon Lester is on his way up, a guy that'll start in Pawtucket next season and may be in Boston by July.
How about that offense last night? I think czblez sparked a flame underneath Boston's you-know-what and got them motivated. Maybe my many followers in the Boston clubhouse saw the post and made it bulletin board material. Thanks, czblez. You are the sole reason for last night's win ... and maybe the fact they hit the ball all over the place.
Manny Ramirez has taken a page from David Ortiz's "How to Hit a Baseball Really, Really Hard and How to Do Other Things Good Too" book. He smacked two home runs last night to go along with Ortiz's two home runs to power the Red Sox offense to 15 runs. Trot Nixon and Jason Varitek also enjoyed great games last night as they both had four hits and five RBI's combined between them. John Olerud went 1-for-3, but he walked three times, so I consider that a good game.
To add to this game's greatness, Terry Francona finally pitched Lenny DiNardo. How long will it take Francona to learn that DiNardo is a good pitcher? He's pitched very well in his stints in Boston and it really sucks that he's had KYS (Kevin Youkilis Syndrome) when he doesn't deserve it. Francona learned to pitch Papelbon. Will he learn to pitch DiNardo? It should happen. DiNardo is solid and, to add to his effectiveness, he's a left-handed pitcher.
The final game of the 19 game season series with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays is tonight at 7:15 PM. "Mr. Reliable" Tim Wakefield is on the hill as Tampa Bay sends out Scott Kazmir to do the dirty work.