The Red Sox beat the Phillies yesterday 5-1 to take the rubber game in vintage performance by Josh Beckett. And I finally get to write about a W!! This is Beckett’s second straight strong outing since I publicly declared my hatred for him. Was it something I said, Josh? Whatever it is, I’m happy he seems to back to form, but I still don’t like his attitude.
Beckett pitched 7.2 innings allowing one earned run on seven hits while striking out five. After his collapse against Cleveland, he’s won two straight handily and has managed to get himself out 52nd place among the 53 starting pitchers in the American League. He’s now #36. I think there’s hope for him yet. He thinks he’s doing pretty good too according to the Boston Globe…
“I felt like I’ve had some other good starts this year,’’ said Beckett, who has recorded six quality starts in eight appearances. “You guys don’t see that. But I feel like I have.’’
Vicente Padilla and Alfredo Aceves finished out the rest of the game allowing no additional runs. Padilla has been great when coming in with runners on base. He’s yet to allow an inherited runner score. Aceves pitched a quick 1-2-3 ninth in a non-save situation.
The offense continues to tear it up. Mike Aviles had two hits and lead off the game with a home run for the second straight day. I think Bobby V. has found his lead off man. Let’s not mess with a good thing. Aviles has been on a rampage going 10 for his last 25. The only guy hotter in this line up is Jarrod Saltalamacchia who is 11 for his last 23. Salty smashed a three-run home run off of Cliff Lee in the third inning, capping off the scoring for the Sox.
Early in the season, I had mixed feelings about the guy with the longest name in major league baseball. Salty started off sluggish and I was afraid we were going to get another one of those catchers who couldn’t hit himself out of a paper bag. Right now, that’s not the case. He’s shown some toughness too. After suffering an ear laceration on Friday night and getting 12 stitches, Salty was back in there catching for Lester Saturday night, and then in again for a day game to catch Beckett’s gem. And all the while, still continuing to smash the ball. Nice going Salty.
Let’s just talk about David Ortiz real quick. He may have been quiet at the plate yesterday afternoon but he was throwing some serious leather around at first base. Everyone likes to joke about his ability since he only plays the field a few times over the course of the season, and I don’t know if it’s his new slimmed down physique, but color me impressed. He snagged a couple of line drives and made a diving stop on a grounder headed for right field, although Beckett was slow to get to the bag and the speedy Shane Victorino was safe. So all in all, the Ortiz at first, Adrian Gonzalez in right field thing seemed to work out just fine.
You know what I really loved about the last two games? Not having to see the arm-pumping of that new Phillies closer, What’s his name? Cinco Ocho?
Click on over here for all the kick-ass goodness of yesterday’s box score, courtesy of the Red Sox. The Sox hopped a train for Baltimore following yesterday’s game for a big three-game series at Camden Yards (who is also celebrating a big birthday this year — 20 years!) Clay Buccholz will take the hill tonight trying to continue the winning ways and hopefully do some work on that 7.77 ERA (yikes). First pitch is at 7:05pm.