|Thanks for coming through, fellas. Photos taken by Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.net in April 2009 and used with permission.
Okay, let me get the obligatory “These 8 games won’t mean anything if the Red Sox don’t make the playoffs” line out of the way.
But, honestly? In this moment I’m not thinking about the playoffs. Hell, I’m not even thinking about the Phillies series yet. I choose to bask in the glow of a three-game sweep and an 8-game series sweep against the Yankees. Any Yankees fans out there who think they wouldn’t be gloating today if the roles of the teams were reversed is a big, fat, liar. This is certainly gloat-worthy, folks.
Most importantly, Brad Penny deserves all the credit we can give him. No one had high expectations. The Yankees Ace against the Red Sox number 5? The guy who got millions of dollars showered upon him to win big games against the guy who could possibly be getting traded next week? If you had money on this game and chose the Sox folks would have thought you a fool…and you would have made a boatload of money because Brad Penny chose to not only show up but kick ass. In six innings, he gave up six hits, one walk and struck out five. He shut out the Yankees for six innings on 117 pitches.
It was pointed out to me more than once last night (before and after Manny Delcarmen choked up the lead) that the Red Sox WANTED this game but the Yankees NEEDED it. Even if that need was only to boost their sagging egos and make the fans feel like all was not lost. Knowing this, Penny showed up firing on all cylinders. CC Sabathia made a good run of it but still gave up all four of the runs the Sox needed to win. It didn’t help that his offense was, pretty much, shut down by the Boston pitching and the defense behind him was practically non-existent. (Will Johnny Damon be eligible for an acting Emmy this year? That “MY EYE” move when he dropped Papi’s pop up was classic!)
And Papi. How can the Yankees fans keep talking about how great their team is and how “done” Papi is when he’s hit TWO home runs off of their pitching? I’m hoping this Yankee visit was exactly what David Ortiz needed. In any event, he’s certainly entertained the Fenway Faithful this week and I hope he savors each curtain call the fans demand! (And for those of you who insist that the steroids chant toward A*Rod is hypocritical because it’s “obvious” Papi has been chemically enhanced, even some supposed professional sports writers, you can bit me…hard. The rest of you who point to Manny Ramirez? I say check the roster, baby.)
I have been skeptical of Nick Green being the savior at SS all season. I still am but less so. Green is another one who has come up huge when he needed to. There’s little faith in Julio Lugo right now and Jed Lowrie is about 30 rehab at-bats away from being near the Fenway infield…so Green gets the gig by default and answers the call. Maybe he isn’t an All-Star but, for the time being, I’ll take him. What I could live without is his chatting and laughing with A*Rod at second base after Slappy knocked in the go-ahead run last night. I know you guys are BFF, Nick, but moments after MDC gives up the lead and kicks Brad Penny in the nuts, you could have been less chummy. Shoot your boy a text when the game is over, dude.
In a few hours our focus will be on inter-league play and hoping the Sox can keep this going against the Phillies. I’m not intimidated by the pitching match-ups (Lester v Blanton, Matsuzaka v Bastardo and Beckett v Happ)…so, to me, this weekend is totally workable. I could see another sweep ahead. Of course, I also can see a series win but a loss on Saturday. I won’t get my hopes up too high. There’s no denying, though, that there already up to a good level. What’s not to be hopeful about right now?
I humbly request a win tonight, Mr. Lester.
Screw rational thinking. 🙂
Win, Crabby. Just win. (And some runs would be nice too, fellas!) <â€“As KellyO says, don’t mess with the streak.