Basically what I love about NESN is the fact that 99% of the time**, they know exactly what we want to see. If Manny is goofing around with Julian adorably enough, to name one example, then screw the bases-empty effort of the opposing pitcher at that moment. Yes. Correct decision by NESN. This is what they excel at.
So last night when Daisuke was surrounded by trainers and translators and coaches and then ushered back up the tunnel after the second inning, NESN was immediately on the case. Screw everything else, what's going on with Daisuke? These are the kind of instincts that make us spoiled to have NESN.
It was both a relief and a stomach-turning revelation when they showed Daisuke coming back out for the third with one hand over his stomach, puffing out his cheeks in the universal sign for "I am going to blow chunks." Thankfully, I'm not a chain-reaction vomiter, but if I was, NESN gave us enough detail of Daisuke turning green to have created a bit of a problem.
Once again, however, he somehow, magically, got stronger as the game went on, leaving the game on a mighty swinging strikeout to Sox killer Frank Catalanotto. I can only imagine he then dry-heaved for about half an hour, given the way he was looking by that point. There were definitely a few terrible heaves on the mound and in the dugout. It was nasty.
Luckily Daisuke's friends from the DR had his back--Ortiz and Manny gave the Sox the lead again before Daisuke left, giving him his league-lead-tying seventh win of the season (the Ray-Ban Man being among the other bearers of that record, not that we're totally spoiled brats this season so far or anything).
The very next inning, J. Varitek also put in a word for his boy, tripling in Lowell to fire up the merry-go-round once and for all for the Sox. By the time the dust cleared, the Sox had ten runs on the board. After gutting it out--literally--for probably three innings longer than you or I would've been able to stand up, Daisuke deserves no less.
P.S. Me likey what I'm seeing w/r/t Jon Lester lately. He's gone from looking like he just came out of chemo in Spring Training to filled out nicely--looking even sturdier than he was last season--and being lifted after one-run appearances in Pawtucket just to err on the side of caution. He also appears to be taking a page out of the Kevin Youkilis book on facial hair, but we can work on that.
*Quote from Teets in ESPN game wrap
** That 1% of the time being content relating to one J. R. Papelbon of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Listen: if he's in the game, we want the full replay of his inning available online afterwards, or at least shown on SportsDesk. It's that simple. If he gives an interview, we want the footage online afterwards, preferably in iPod format. If Jonathan Papelbon shouts something particularly interesting across the clubhouse, we want it reported on. If he orders something other than his usual Big Mac and fries at Mickey D's down the street from the ballpark, we want the CHANGEUP: MCNUGGETS headline in mile-high letters in the Globe. Just cover Jonathan Papelbon, please. Video. Audio. Pictures. Interviews. What can we do to get some more Papelbon content going here? This is my only complaint so far this season. I am available for focus groups.