Thursday, May 1, 2008
Uh Yes Please, Two Walk-Off Wins
After coming home saddled with a five-game losing streak, the Boston Red Sox (17-12) quickly made fans forget about that as they've won their last two games over the Toronto Blue Jays (11-17) in style: walk-off, ninth inning wins after pitcher's duels.
Tuesday night, Jon Lester and Roy Halladay were locked in a tight battle until Kevin Youkilis knocked in David Ortiz with the game-winning RBI single as the Red Sox won 1-0. Not lifting Ortiz for a pinch runner seemed questionable (even with only two guys on the bench) but Vernon Wells' bobble in center gave Papi just enough time to score.
Lester went eight innings, giving up only one hit, four walks and striking out six. Halladay (2-4) pitched his fourth straight complete game (and third straight loss), giving up five hits, one walk with six strikeouts.
Given that he only threw 97 pitches and who he was going up against, I'd say it was the best MLB start of Lester's short career.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts to earn the win.
Last night Dice-K and Dustin McGowan thrilled Fenway with another low-scoring NL style game. Dice-K went seven innings, giving up two hits, two walks and four strikeouts. McGowan went 7.1 innings, giving up one run on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
Once again, Papelbon pitched a clean ninth thus earning the win.
David Ortiz broke the shutout with a solo home run in the seventh. Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios hit a sac. fly in the eighth to tie it up.
Jason Varitek was the hero this time as his RBI single knocked in Manny Ramirez, who promptly spiked his helmet after he got the safe call. Ironically, Brandon Moss had hit a single in the previous at-bat but pinch runner Jed Lowrie was tagged out in a close play at the plate.
The three-game series closes tonight as Tim Wakefield goes vs. A.J. Burnett.