Tonight saw another lovely victory for the Sox, all of whom are suddenly hitting like their asses are on fire. Tim Wakefield delivered a gem from the mound in his usual understated way, keeping up a breezy pace through eight innings. Remy's repeated comment on his performance was that he "made it look so easy."
Life was not so peachy for Detroit pitching. That staff's woeful night began with Nate Robertson, who suffered through six and one third innings while surrendering four runs. The coup de grace for him was delivered by Big Papi, who took a meatball Robertson left in the center of the plate, near the bottom of the strike zone, and blasted it 20 rows into the bleachers. To see Papi homer on back-to-back nights was encouraging enough, but to see him lace this nuclear bomb out of the park with such authority had me breathing at least a partial sigh of relief. I hope this means the big man's really back.
Another thing which delights me is seeing Papi go the other way on the shift teams now routinely deploy against him. Several times over the last week he's sent a double pinballing around an empty left-field corner, and each time it has filled me with glee. Shift this, mofos.
Things were to get even more interesting for both teams after Papi sent Robertson to the showers. The Tigers brought out one Freddy Dolsi from their bullpen, a brand-new rookie fresh from the farm. Remy and Orsillo pointed out, as the slight Dorsi was throwing his warmup pitches, that he'd been up in the bullpen several times throughout the game. "He's practically pitched a whole game in the bullpen," said Don.
"Hopefully he worked out some of his nerves," replied Jerry.
Unfortunately for Freddy Dolsi, the next man up, and his first-ever Major League hitter, was to be Manny Ramirez. The Bad Man took all of a second to take Dolsi's first ever Major League pitch deep to straightaway center and through the hedges out of the park. Welcome to the bigs, kid, and have a nice day.
In fairness, Dolsi was left in for five outs after that, and got them without giving up another run. Still, the winners were the Sox, putting them solidly in first place in the AL East with a 22-13 record. And it's now only two days until we can kick off the radar-gun rodeo, starring Josh Beckett and Justin Verlander. Which, as you can imagine, has strong potential to be the highlight of my week.