So is it just me, or have we lost all semblance of a pitching rotation? Last I checked Josh was supposed to be the No. 2, officially, maybe bumped up to the 1 spot since Curt is sidelined, but he was following Wake last night. Didn't he just pitch like two days ago or something, too? I'm so confused.
But anyway. Beckett was not as utterly dominant as he is capable of being, but it's okay, because the Sox are playing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. My favorite thing about playing the Devil Rays (besides the fact that the Sox win most of the time) is the way they all scramble and scamper around in complete disarray whenever a ball is put in play. Last night there was one base hit to left and I swear the Rays had six people covering. There must have been nobody in right field. Or at first base. It was great. Carl Crawford let at least one catchable ball (for Coco, anyway) go in center field while I was watching. Good times.
It appears the Sox offense finally found a nice soft underbelly to feast on, and hopefully this will hone their skills for the 79 percent of the time, post-All Star break, in which they are not playing the Devil Rays.
Yep, that's right. 21 percent of the Sox remaining games are against the Devil Rays. Not to count my chickens here or anything, but I like the implications of that little factoid right there, especially if this week has been any indication.
Add this to the happiness department: Hideki Okajima, the Iron Man from Japan, is headed to San Francisco for the All-Star Game. He got a huge ovation and made many charming bows in response at yesterday's game, which I would like to state for the record we COULD have scalped tickets for and were thisclose to actually doing it but nooooo everybody thought it was going to rain. So we missed seeing the Okie love-in in person. Boo. (Also this shows just how deeply we're jonesin' for tickets at this point, so if anybody has any to get rid of, let me know--girlanachronism at gmail dot com.)
Meanwhile, all of that pales in importance, of course, in comparison with last night's main event, which was the breaking of Rays catcher Dioner Navarro's face on some part of Josh Beckett's upper torso.
Dustin Pedroia was flipping the ball to Beckett after a dribbler off Navarro's bat, but he missed, and the ball went behind Joshie, causing him to whirl immediately to face back toward Pedroia, probably the better to curse at him, which is when Navarro ran full-bore into Josh's shoulder (I think). He bounced off and hit the ground like a ton of bricks. After he was stood up bodily by coaches and trainers and carted off the field, Navarro was taken for tests which showed a concussion and a broken jaw.
Meanwhile, replays show Josh, already resuming chewing in the immediate aftermath of the collision, glancing at Navarro's lifeless corpse and then walking coolly back toward the mound. I know the collision wasn't intentional on Beckett's part, and he seemed to say all the right things in the press conference afterwards, but I've got to admit that moment right there seemed cold indeed. Then again, Navarro breaking his jaw on Joshie did cost Joshie a run. So.
It should be noted also that he explained in the press conference afterwards that he was unhurt in the impact because "my muscles ended up taking most of the blow." Just so we're aware, it was Joshie's suit of ripped muscular armor that kept him safe in that instance. You know, in case we were wondering. About his muscles.
P.S. Another word about the press conference outfit: the collar on that shirt keeps my hope alive that one day he will emerge in a full Red Sox uniform modified to look like an Elvis jumpsuit, complete with aviator shades. You know he'd think himself worthy. Just a little dream of mine, that's all.