The Baseball Desert

Friday, August 25, 2006

As advertised

This is the kind of box score we hoped we'd be seeing when the Sox signed Josh Beckett: Beckett-to-Timlin-to-Papelbon: add one to the win column.

Last night it looked like somebody had sneaked into the clubhouse prior to the game and replaced Josh Beckett v.06 (a.k.a. Fat Head) with Josh Beckett v.03 (a.k.a. Young Gun Who Threw A Complete-Game Shutout Of The Yankees. In The Bronx. In Game 6 Of The World Series).

Beckett was almost untouchable, throwing strikes - lots of them - exactly where and when he wanted, which is something we'd forgotten he could do. He had to leave the game in the seventh with a cut on his finger, but until that happened it looked like he could pitch 8 or even 9 innings - up until that point he'd thrown only 70 pitches, including a 4-pitch fourth, which had me wondering if I was having middle-of-the-night hallucinations.

Outside of the obvious headliners - Beckett and Ortiz - huge props should go to Alex Cora for breaking up a double-play in the 7th which allowed the winning run to score, and to the Wily Mo-Doug Mirabelli tag-team, which cut down a run at the plate in the bottom of the same inning. If either of those plays is not made, the Angels probably win the game.

It was a good team performance, with key interventions from the stars and the bit players alike. These one-run games are not good for the nerves, but they are proof that the Sox still have a little life left in them.