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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teach me how to dougie Dice-K

What do I always say about Dice-K? He is the single most unpredictable player in MLB and probably professional sports. Therefore after I bashed him and Ben Sheets going into last night's series opener in Oakland, they responded by turning in a classic pitcher's duel.

It figures that one of the most exciting games of the season was a 10:05 p.m. EST start so who knows how much of Red Sox nation actually saw it, especially considering how low their television ratings are this season.

The Red Sox (53-40) started off the pivotal 10-game West Coast trip with a 2-1 win at the Oakland Coliseum. Dice-K (7-3) went 6.2 innings and allowed one earned run on two hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Most surprisingly, Dice-K worked quickly and efficiently and was only on 89 pitches when he got yanked in the seventh.

Ben Sheets (4-9) nearly matched him going 6.2 innings and giving up two earned runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Daniel Bard went 1.1 scoreless innings and Jonathan Papelbon got a 1-2-3 ninth for his 21st save of the season. Dice-K's fine work allowed Terry Francona to skip over all the bum relievers that have been omnipresent this season.

Rajai Davis gave Oakland (46-47) a 1-0 lead in the third with a solo home run.

David Ortiz tied it up in the fourth when his sacrifice fly knocked in former A's outfielder Eric Patterson, who had tripled. Adrian Beltre (3 hits) produced the winning run with a solo shot two batters later.

In his last start before Josh Beckett returns to the rotation, Tim Wakefield goes tonight against Dallas Braden, he of the perfect game on May 9. Braden has been on the DL and also has struggled since then, he hasn't won a game since then.

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