The story of this game is pretty simple. One of the most potent lineups in the game finally woke up and got to Daisuke Matsuzaka who was clearly having an off night. The Red Sox gave some solid run support and fell just short as David Ortiz' blast went just inches foul of the Pesky Pole missing the grand slam to tie the game at 6-6. The pitching staff had an uncharacteristic breakdown with Daisuke giving up 6 runs and then the typically rock solid bullpen (particularly JC Romero) allowing another 2. I'm not disappointed with the outcome as the Indians are a solid team and had you told me the sox would be taking 2 out of 3 from them a week ago I'd have been more than satisfied. Daisuke is still young, coming off an illness and probably still adjusting to American baseball. I was encouraged by the lack of walks given up by Daisuke as this had been a problem for him in many of his past outings and I'm confident he'll make the adjustments necessary and be in excellent form for his next start. Kevin Youkilis had an off night going only 1 for 5, but was still enough to keep the hitting streak alive. Dustin Pedroia continues to prove that his early season slump was just that and nothing more as his average climbed to .308 with a 2 for 4 performance in last night's game.
The sox open up a 3 game series against the Yankees at Fenway on Friday and will be facing the meat of their rotation with Wang, Mussina and Petite and quite notably NOT the Rocket who's start has been pushed back to the following series with the Chicago White Sox. There seems to be some mixed feelings on this decision to push back Roger's start to Chicago. Some people feel this is giving the Red Sox the psychological edge and showing that the Yankees fear the Red Sox and this misses the opportunity to send the message that the Yankees are coming after the Sox head on. This is all true, but you know what would REALLY give the Red Sox the psychological edge? If they put Roger in against a potent Red Sox lineup, he gets booed onto and off the field as he gets shelled in his first attempt back in the majors with everybody in Boston and New York watching. That could potentially shatter the Yankees already low confidence to the point of no return and solidify the idea that the Rocket isn't going to bail the Yankees out of this one in the minds of the fans. I agree with the Yankees decision to let him start against the so-so offense of the White Sox to build up the confidence of the club, the New York fans and the Rocket himself before pitting him against a powerhouse like the Red Sox.