Red Sox Report: Hey Joe Maddon Is Owen There?
“Hey Joe, is Owen there?”
“Yes, Owen, is he there?”
“John, who is Owen?”
Although I highly doubt that this conversation would ever take place between Rays manager Joe Maddon and Red Sox skipper John Farrell, it could happen.
All kidding aside, John Farrell must be ecstatic being up 2-0. It’s not just the fact that they are up 2-0, but they beat two of the best left-handed pitchers in the game. Not often can you say you did that in a five game series, let alone the first two of the series.
Game 1 was an all around great game. I had the privilege of being there, and watching Jon Lester throw a gem. 7 and 2/3 innings, striking out 7 while only surrendering 3 hits and 2 earned runs. The pitch Sean Rodriguez deposited into the monster should have never been thrown- the pitch beforehand was a blown strike 3 call by the umpire. But, that’s part of baseball – what are you going to do?
The offense broke out huge in the fourth after struggling against Matt Moore in the first three innings. Thanks in large part to Wil Myers, the Red Sox put up 5 runs in the fourth. Oh boy, did they ever get on him! Even in the top of the 8th when the Sox were up 9-2, there were “MYYYERRRRRS, MYYYERRRS, MYEEERRRRS” chants ringing throughout Fenway. People said you could hear them all the way at the Shaw’s near Fenway. During the game Friday, the Red Sox became just the third team in MLB history where everyone in the starting lineup got a hit and scored a run. Pretty impressive. Led by Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, I guess you could say Tampa Bay needs to “Fear the Beard”.
Game 2 was also a great game. Although the Red Sox didn’t play as well as the night before, they still beat one of the best pitchers in the game. Papi had himself a day. Two homeruns off a lefty. That’s very promising and gives Sox fans hope that he can be a force against both righties and lefties.
Going back to my last article, the bullpen has looked great. Unfortunately, I was wrong when I chose Matt Thornton over Felix Doubront, but hey, we can’t get them all right. 24 out of 25 isn’t too shabby. I’ll take it.
So far through two games the bullpen has thrown 5 innings, giving up two hits and a walk. That’s good. I like that Farrell went to Dempster in the ninth in game one. You always want to show your veterans some love, and even though it was “mop up duty”, it was still good to get him some innings, because quite frankly, you don’t know how many he will actually get.
Koji was Koji. The man is incredible. A lights out ninth. At one point, he threw 8 pitches, all for strikes. He is the face of the bullpen, and the Sox are going to rely on him heavily this postseason. Right now, I would say he’s the second best relief pitcher still playing, only behind Craig Kimbrel. But let’s face it, Kimbrel is filthy. Lights out. He’s the closest thing to a guarantee you can have at the closer position.
Farrell must be real happy with how the Sox have played so far, and I can almost guarantee he wants to make Joe Maddon regret saying “I’m excited for game five back here” as much as the players do.