Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Takin' Care of Business...

The sox put up two quality games against the Rays as the Yankees dropped their first two to the Angels in dramatic fashion.

Tim Wakefield continued to confound the Devil Ray whippersnappers with his knuckleball and Kevin Cash filled in admirably for the injured Doug Mirabelli. It's nice to see that the sox have found somebody in the organization besides Mirabelli who can catch the knuckleball without a dozen passed balls per game. Seeing the sox getting to Scott Kazmir early and often was also a nice touch as he typically pitches so well against the Red Sox. There really isn't much to complain about from the first game, they did everything well on both sides of the ball and cruised to an expected victory.

The second game the Red Sox again put up another strong performance offensively, but raised some concerns about Jon Lester. What really killed me about Lester's performance was the walks and homeruns. He gave up 4 walks over 5 1/3, one was of no consequence, two would be brought home by a subsequent home run and the last would buy him an early ticket out of this game. If he's giving up walks and then giving up homeruns when the pressure is on it could be bad news against an offensive powerhouse like the Yankees. Manny Delcarmen is still struggling to regain his form from earlier this season and seemed to be having some control issues when he hit a batter and walked a batter to bring Okajima into the game. Declarmen hasn't had any Gagne level screw ups, but hasn't looked all that sharp lately either. Papelbon looked really dominant in the last four outs of the game striking out the first three batters he faced and getting the last out on a popup. I think alot of people were expecting a second half drop off by Papelbon like they had seen in previous years, but Paps looks as though he hasn't lost a beat. In August he's had 8 appearances, allowed one hit, walked 3 and struck out 14 batters.

Tonight Dice-K goes for the sweep. The Rays have won two games against the Sox all year, both were in Dice-K's last two starts against the DRays. His first loss was a tough luck loss leaving a tight 1-0 game in the 7th inning before Manny Delcarmen gave up back to back homers to give the Rays a substantial lead. In his last start he fell apart in the third inning against the Rays and left the game after six innings with a 6-0 defecit. Hopefully Dice-K can turn it around tonight with a win.

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