Sunday, May 20, 2012
The Beat Goes On: Red Sox Clinch Another Series Win In Philadelphia
This season was no different as the Red Sox (20-21, 11-10 away) clinched the series (2-1) this afternoon with a 5-1 win over the Phillies (21-21, 10-11), who are really missing Ryan Howard and Chase Utley's big bats in their ravaged lineup.
Boston has won eight of their last 10 games so perhaps, now is the time they finally start putting things together and beating quality opponents. This series was nice but truthfully, Philadephia has been just as mediocre as Boston so I don't read too much into the final result.
Showing what a mess the Phillies offense is, Josh Beckett (4-4) was able to completely dominate them. The Texas Toughguy went 7.2 innings, allowing one earned run on seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks. His stuff looked good today with 22 called strikes and 12 swinging strikes.
Before the game I felt this was a layup for Philadelphia with Cliff Lee (0-2) on the mound but I guess it was a classic case of a reverse lock. Lee went seven innings but he was hit hard: he allowed five earned runs on nine hits with six strikeouts and a walk.
Mike Aviles (2 hits, 2 RBIs) was the unlikely offensive star of the weekend for the Red Sox, he homered in all three games, including leadoff shots last night and today (first guy to do that for Boston since Harry Hooper in 1913). Adrian Gonzalez had two hits and scored a run while Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit the third longest home run (466 feet) so far in MLB this season.
Aviles' leadoff homer in the first was his eighth of the season. He added an RBI single in the second before Salty's (7th of the season) moonshot to center in the third inning, a three-run jack.
Philly's lone run came in the eighth on Juan Pierre's sacrifice fly. On a day when Beckett was great and Lee was average, it only made sense (in bizarro world) that David Ortiz played very well defensively at first base. Vicente Padilla relieved Beckett and walked Hunter Pence to load the bases but retired Ty Wigginton on a grounder to second.
After getting humbled by the Baltimore Orioles (27-15, first place in the AL East) in a three-game sweep May 4-6 at Fenway, the Red Sox have a chance to exact some revenge as they travel to Camden Yards for a three-game set beginning tomorrow night.
Clay Buchholz (4-2) faces Tommy Hunter (2-2) tomorrow (7:05 p.m., NESN), Felix Doubront (4-1) gets Brian Matusz (3-4) on Tuesday night (7:05 p.m., NESN) and Daniel Bard (3-5) opposes Jake Arrieta (2-4) on Wednesday afternoon (12:35 p.m., NESN).
At 3-2 so far on this eight-game road trip, Boston has extra motivation since they finally get a day off (Beckett will probably shit his camo pants) on Thursday after 20 games in 20 days.