24 June 2004

BOS 3, MIN 4

WP- Grant Balfour (2-0)
LP- Keith Foulke (2-1)
SV- Joe Nathan (21)
HR- D Ortiz (17)

In trying to right themselves and get right, the Sox are treading on dangerous ground. At 40-31, they're but 9 games over .500 and are tied for the Wild Card lead with Oakland. We have a losing record on the road, and we have lost our last three series.

We are just now getting healthy, and it defies logic that a team this talented could be bad on one side of the ball nearly every night. Eventually, one would imagine, it would start to even out for us. I still believe this team is the heavy Wild Card favorite- Anaheim simply does not have the pitching, lineup depth and ease of schedule that we have the remainder of the season. Texas isn't nearly this good, and I suspect Oakland will eventually walk away with the West. Minnesota/ Chicago sure won't contest the Sox record.

It's been said ad nauseam, but this team needs a good, healthy Yankee-style streak. Fast. The way we battled back today was huge. Down 3-1 in the 7th against Radke, Ortiz came up with 2 out and men on 2nd and 3rd- and drove them both in with a huge full count single. It tied the game and marked his 3rd RBI of the game- he was responsible for the first run for the Sox this afternoon with a first inning HR.

Wakefield pitched marvelously- 2 of his 3 runs allowed came after a passed ball on a K, and the last came on a ground rule double with Lew Ford on second. Williamson bailed him out of the 8th with a masterful at bat against Torii Hunter, and Foulke held the fort in the 9th.

The 10th, unfortunately, did not work out in our favor. After reaching on an error by Nomar and advancing to 2nd on the errant throw, Guzman moved to 3rd on Offerman's sac bunt and Lew Ford drew him in on the sac fly. Nomar popped out to end the game in the bottom of the frame.

Time to pick it up tomorrow against Philly. Paul Abbott, just picked up by the Phillies, starts against Petey- we need 3 out of three this weekend, bottom line, going into New York.

Pokey Reese should be OK following MRI results on his thumb. I'm guessing mid-next week for a return, during which Mark Bellhorn can finally take his rightful place as the starting 2B on this team. Bill Mueller looks to hopefully go on a rehab stint within the next week and a half, and Burks is turning a corner in his recovery from knee surgery.

The Beltran thing is heating up. The three way deal with Oakland and Houston:
Oakland gets Octavio Dotel
Kansas City gets Mark Teahen, other prospects
Houston gets Carlos Beltran
fell through last night, supposedly over money on Oakland's end, and players on all ends. Reports have Kansas City as "furious" over the deal's demise (unlikely) and that Boston has positioned itself in th lead for Beltran's services (possible). Lucchino said on WEEI today that he was comfortable renting a player if it meant the right player, which any intelligent person would realize meant Beltran. And finally, in further proof that George Steinbrenner runs his team with a bizarre lack of any sense of fair play or appreciation for the game at large, has decided that it is Brian Cashman's mission to keep Beltran away from the Red Sox. This, of course, would be fine with me as long as "keep him away" does not mean "coming to NY." Even that wouldn't make the Yankees THAT much better- their offense's quality has already reached critical mass- in other words, they'd beat the Orioles every time by 7 instead of 5. I'd be glad if the Yanks used their only chips for something other than great pitching. I just don't totally believe Steinbrenner is that dumb.

Hi Bullshit Memorial! Remember us?!

Yeah, Kenny and Raul, I remember you now. Maybe he is that dumb. Who the fuck knows.

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