"May you live in interesting times".
The good news is: Wade Miller looked sharp in the second of yesterday's twin bill (which was the only one I got to see), with a buckling 12-6 curveball and six strikeouts through five innings. I believe Red may have finally achieved his dream of seeing a Miller-Mueller-Millar relay. John Halama even looked decent in relief after Miller, tethered to a strict pitch count, was lifted.
The bad news is: Cla Meridith.
Okay, well, Meridith isn't totally bad news. He just couldn't seem to locate the plate in his debut, and in one at-bat, the poor kid experienced the entire skull-rattling gamut of the Fenway experience: washed over with warm cheers on a two-strike count; jackhammered into the ground with boos and catcalls after Richie Sexson deposited one of his fastballs into the right-field corner just beyond the Pesky pole.
One pitch, one swing: a game like yesterday's, with the wind howling in and robbing home runs, with players out of their habitat in squint-inducing rain, is as delicate as surgery. A four-run blast is too much to overcome and piece a game back together.
In some ways, however, it seems that luck still favors the Red Sox--such as when David Ortiz' liner to left field was ruled fair despite hysterical protests from Mariners reliever Ron Villone (who had to be stuffed, screaming, back down the tunnel into the clubhouse by teammates and managers a few moments after he was lifted). And who would have predicted that the Red Sox rotation would have held up so well despite injuries to Schilling and Wells? That a rehabbing Wade Miller would look so blistering yesterday? That Bronson Arroyo would prove our stopper and that someone named Jeremi Gonzalez would hold the line?
Despite yesterday's rainy loss, I am sunny. The Mariners were on a seven-game skid going into Game 2; they aren't going to lose every game. (Neither, for that matter, are the Yankees, who steamrolled Oakland twice this weekend)
And, big-picture wise, how "interesting" is the AL East this year? An upstart Tampa Bay team, an X-factor in the Blue Jays, the Yankees wilting, the Red Sox vying with Baltimore for the AL East?
Good or bad, it won't be boring.