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Monday, August 31, 2009
Birdman daddy, I fly in any weather
Can I say it? I really like this team.
The 2009 Boston Red Sox are not going to win the AL East, we can agree on that, right? But they have a very good chance to win the wild card and once you get this team in the playoffs, I like their chances.
Yesterday's strange season took another unexpected pit stop as the two newest Red Sox (Paul Byrd and Billy Wagner) helped to shut out Toronto, 7-0 at Fenway as Boston swept the three-game series.
The Byrd Man was back with his old-timey delivery and right-handed Jamie Moyer-esque stuff. The Blue Jays (58-70) have clearly checked out and are dreaming of a miserable winter in Toronto mixed in with plenty of losses by the Leafs and Raptors. Just kidding, no players live there in the off-season.
Byrd pitched six scoreless innings, as he gave up three hits, walked three and struck out one. For one afternoon at least, he provided some stability to the back end of a rotation that has seen more action than Paris Hilton's bed. WOW!
He had been out of baseball and pitching to his 13-year-old son's team (really) when the Red Sox brought him back.
Acquired from the Mets last week, Wagner was impressive in his Red Sox debut as he struck out the side in the eighth.
Ignoring what chief moron Jonathan Papelbon had to say, Wagner is a welcome addition to a bullpen that was understandably getting tired and needed another left-hander. The fact that Papelbon has been shaky as well, makes this a no-brainer pick up.
The Sox (76-54) moved to 3.5 games up in the wild card on the Rangers and 5.5 on the Rays.
They also beat Roy Halladay for the second straight time. Think he wishes he got traded in July? Youk (2 hits, 3 RBIs) gave Boston a 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI double which scored Victor Martinez.
Rocco Baldelli made it 2-0 in the second with a solo homer before Youkilis had a sacrifice fly in the third, putting Boston up 3-0.
Alex Gonzalez (2 hits), who's swinging a hot bat, extended the lead to 4-0 in the fourth with an RBI single. Finally, the Sox scored three in the seventh on an error and another RBI single by Youk.
After the off-day today, the Sox have three games at the Trop starting tomorrow. If they can win at least two, they'll bury Tampa Bay for all intents and purposes. However if Tampa Bay continues to own Boston (especially at home), they will get right back in the wild card race.