Well, other than catching the Memorial Day Weekend Deadliest Catch marathon on Discovery, the Red Sox are the only game in town--Yes, I watched the Revolution get wiped out by Toronto FC on Saturday, believe me when I say the Sox are the only game in town right now.
A weekend of interleague play (wow, it is still so...well, not very exciting anymore is it?) and the Sox drop two of three to the Mets, and still end up in first place (did I not just right that the Blue Jays were for real? Well, I still believe that. Any team with Roy Halladay pitching every fifth day is a team to be reckoned with.).
GAME ONE VS METS-Friday, May 22, 2009:
Losing to Johan Santana is no shame, and the Sox put up a good battle on Friday night. Dice-K pitched well for his first game back. In fact, in a few innings, he was downright thrifty with is pitch count. Yes, the Youkilis-Santana spat was laughable, but the real reason the Sox lost was that they did not get that one big hit off Santana. He buckled down with men on base like great pitchers always do (Sox 0-10 with runners in scoring position).
As a quick side note, Justin Masterson looked good coming out of the pen and gives the Sox yet another weapon coming out of the bullpen.
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GAME TWO VS METS-Saturday, May 23, 2009:
Painful. In a word, it was painful. Yes, everyone knows that Papelbon is hardly infallable and will lose some games, but this one hurt. Josh Beckett pitched his best game of the season, going 8 innings and looking strong after allowing one run in the first inning. The Sox came right back in the first to score two. It stayed that way until Papelbon in the ninth. At first, I thought that Santo's hit scraped the top of the wall and left Pap a chance to get out of there with a save and strand both runners. But as the Eck made clear on the broadcast, the replay clearly indicated it was a homer. The worst part was in the bottom of the ninth versus J.J. Putz, after Youk walked, the next three batters (Jay Bay, J.D., and Mikey Lowell) hit a series of rockets that should have been a double, a double, and another double but somehow ended up as three outs due to some back luck and good defense (heck, GREAT defense by David Wright at third on Bay's rocket down the line).
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GAME THREE VS METS-Sunday, May 24, 2009:
Ahh, the offensive explosion long waited for finally arrives. Not for David Ortiz, however. A game where the offense bails out Tim Wakefield and allows him to pick up win number six, but all the talk focuses on Big Papi and his mental condition.
Bat speed? Puh-leeze, I though Lowell had no bat speed when the Sox got him with Beckett? Ortiz's head is so screwed up that he cannot get is head turned off in the batters box right now. Much like in basketball: if you're thinking, you're losing. He's at the point now where Youk needs to bop him on the head with his bat before he steps in just to clear his head.
George Kottaras was the surprise hitting star. For all the talk-radio WEEIdiots ready to throw Dave Magadan to the wolves for the struggles of Big Papi, the rest of the Sox seem to be benefitting from Mags. Both Pedroia and Youkilis have continued to grow as hitters under Mags, and the development of Kottaras, Nick Green, and the re-birth of Jason Varitek are going to be bullet points on his resume when he's interviewing for a position as a manager.
* * *
So, not a great weekend for the Sox against the Mets, but just enough to put them in first place for a big road trip, starting with four games in Minnesota against the Twins.
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