|Photo I took of Lester in Baltimore last year.
Around the fifth inning last night, it occurred to me that I was very happy to not be at Fenway. As wonderful as it was to be there for Clay Buchholz’ no-hitter, it was also gut-wrenchingly painful. I had friends at the park last night and was thrilled for them to be seeing such an amazingly-pitched game – but I wasn’t jealous. I was on my couch, not moving, thinking about randomly stupid things like “If he pitches a perfect game, it’ll totally screw up the song “Harvey Haddix” (thanks to KellyO, who had put that in my head last week when Beckett did his thing). Even so, I wanted Lester to, at the very least, get the no-hitter. So I was as disappointed as everyone else when he didn’t. (I was thankful to not have been AT the park going through the anguish of waiting to see if they got a hit off of him.)
But forget the perfect game. Forget the no-hitter. Crabcakes pitched a complete, two-hit game and went into the ninth inning with less than 100 pitches thrown. He struck out 11 and only walked two. We shouldn’t be mourning the loss of history for him; we should be rejoicing that he pitched two fabulous games in a row. This is what we (certainly I) have been waiting for all season. Real proof that we aren’t going to spend the season wondering how many pitches he can throw without his arm falling off. More than a glimmer of hope that he was going to be even a fraction as good as everyone projected him to be this year. I’ll still always be cautious with my enthusiasm for him – but there’s is absolutely nothing negative to say about his last two performances. After the beatdown on Friday, it was a welcome performance last night on many levels.
Today we have Daisuke Matsuzaka pitching against Vincente Padilla. One pitcher who is compelled to walk all nine batters at least once in the game and the other who is compelled to hit all nine batters at least once in the game. This should be something else.
Finally, for those who asked (thanks for that!), my appearance (such as it was) on “The Baseball Show“: