Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 91: Let's Focus on the Good Stuff. Red Sox Take 3 of 4 from Jays!

Last week was full of bad stuff. Aaron Hernandez might be a serial killer. Doc Rivers left the Celtics—along with what felt like a bevy of star players. The Bruins didn't win the Stanley Cup. So I'm in need of a big pick-me-up and I know just the Boston team for the job.

The Red Sox took three of four games from the Toronto Blue Jays over the long weekend series. You might think that's no big deal—it is, in fact, the lowly, last place Jays. But if you've been paying attention to the other teams in the AL East this month, you would know that the Blue Jays recently had an 11 game win streak where the swept the Rangers, the Rockies and the Orioles. But in the last week, they've lost two of seven. (That's more like it.)

The first game of the series was taken handily by the Sox behind a strong pitching performance from Jon Lester and a seven run second inning. Nice to see Lester have a good game after he's sucked so much over the past month. I hope this gets him back on track.

Game two was more of a struggle behind Alan Webster. The rookie starter pitched four scoreless innings before surrendering three runs in the fifth and a run in the sixth. And then Andrew Bailey came in and gave up the game tying dinger, killing the kid's chance for a win... which made me really mad. In the bottom of the seventh, the evening's hero, Jonny Gomes, pinch hit with the bases loaded and drove in the go ahead run with a single. Then Jarod Saltalamacchia walked to drive in an insurance run and that's all she wrote.

The Sox lost game three in unspectacular fashion but bounced back this afternoon to take the final game of the series. They had a one run lead going into the ninth when new closer, Koji Uehara took the mound. Unfortunately, this time he screwed up and gave up the game tying homer to Jose Bautista, forcing the Sox to, once again, create some walk-off magic. And they did, scoring the winning run on an error by the first baseman on Shane Victorino's ground ball. Doesn't matter how they get long as the get the W.

So June is officially over and the Red Sox finished with a respectable 17-11 record for the month. They still have the best record in the American League and sit second in the majors in total wins behind (yes, still) the Pittsburgh Pirates. The San Diego Padres come to Fenway for a three game series before the Sox embark on a 10-game west coast swing heading into the All-Star break. I hate those 10:05 starts. I'm usually asleep before the second inning.

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