Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Running late

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But I wanted to put up SOMETHING so here I am.

When I get home after the game tonight, I’ll be posting the winning poem and the runners  up in the contest to win Big Papi’s book.  I’m also thinking about a couple of other contests, but it took me this long to finish the first one, so we’ll see how that goes!

Something like 9 hours left to the trade deadline.  I’d be happy if the Sox could get Dye and/or Gagne, but I’m in the camp of not selling the future just to win this year, so,  if the price is too high, I’m also  happy with Theo standing pat.

Josh goes for number 14 tonight against the Orioles.  What’s say you help him out with some run support, eh guys?

July 31, 2007 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 4 Comments

Can’t Touch This

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Photo from Yahoo! Sports

Sox had a great road trip, can’t complain about it.  Looking forward to being at Fenway tomorrow (as long as this damn rain lets up!) to see Josh get his Jim Rice win!

Watched Tony’s speech from Cooperstown yesterday thanks to ESPN Classic.  He’s made me decide to spend this week trying to focus on the good surrounding baseball, not the egomaniacal cheater in San Francisco. 

Let’s see how I do! 

July 30, 2007 Posted by | Good Guys | 3 Comments

Sunshiney Day

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Photo from Yahoo! Sports – Not from last night (just because I like it!) 

What a great way to go to sleep last night.  Knowing the Sox won, the Yanks lost and the Sox picked up an entire game in the standings.  Yay baseball!  The Yankees no longer have a game in hand and are 8 games back in the loss column.  Way to go, Sox.  Tim Wakefield kept up his winning ways against the DRays while Manny Delcarmen and Kyle Snyder kept up the bullpen’s dominance.   

Someone remind me why I’m supposed to be worried about this team?  (Not getting cocky.  There’s still a hell of a lot of ball to be played.  But I’m not even close to being nervous about these guys.)

Jon Lester is on the mound tonight.  I won’t be watching it thanks to some fun times planned, but I’ll be dvr’ing  it so I could see how he looks.   Here’s hoping he can mirror his first outing earlier in the week.

Having Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn being inducted this weekend, the same weekend that Barry Bonds could, conceivably, break (or at least tie) Hank Aaron’s home run record, only depresses me when I realize they are possibly the last two players from ‘that era’ who won’t have question marks and asterisks surrounding them.

I stupidly watched Sports Center this morning, forgetting about Bonds’ home run.   The ball washing he’s getting makes me sick.  And one of the asshats even threw a crack out to Hank Aaron about watching his back.  If I ever wanted to slap someone I didn’t know, it was then.  I hope Hank is holed up somewhere watching grass grow instead of paying attention to this display.  Shame on ESPN and Fox and every other media outlet for promoting this like it’s a good thing.  Man, I can’t wait for it to be over.  And then I can’t wait for ARod to come around and kick Bonds’ record into oblivion.

Oh and a special shout out to Dave Weathers for totally messing up a great outing from my boy Bronson.   Sure, the Reds won in the ninth, but not before Weathers blew the save.  I suppose I was being greedy.  I watched the Sox win, then the Yanks lose and was hoping to see Bronson finally get another win.  I need to learn not to tempt the baseball gods.  🙂

Another sunny Saturday here.  Looking forward to a good day and hoping for a good night! 

July 28, 2007 Posted by | Woo-Hoo! | 4 Comments

Three out of four is BETTER than not bad!

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Photo from Yahoo! Sports 

 

Well just about every baseball writer in America considers the Indians one of the best, if not the best, team in MLB.

And the Red Sox just took 3 out of 4 against them.  So there’s that.  Would have liked to see Kason finish what he started last night, but I have to give credit to Tito for not leaving him out there JUST to give him the opportunity for the win.

Yesterday, I complained about Tito, I complained about Mike Lowell resting and I complained about Wily Mo.  Last night, they all told me to shut up and I couldn’t be happier to oblige!  🙂

Apparently, after being taken out of the game, Cliff Lee tipped his cap to the booing crowd.  (He claims he didn’t, that he was just taking off his cap.)  I have to say, that takes balls.  Especially after putting up, what is it now, four lousy starts in a row?  I’m never a fan of booing your own guy, but Lee HAS to know that he sucks right now.  What did he expect them to do?  They’re in a pennant race and not happy about the Sox embarrassing them in their own park.  I don’t agree with what they did, but I sure understand it.

To the media after Wednesday’s game, Alex Cora blamed himself for the loss because he missed a sign while Jason Varitek was on first base, getting Tek thrown out.  Cora is a stand-up guy (even though I’m pretty sure no one blames him solely for that loss.)  Interesting to note that Coco Crisp, the guy more of us seemed to be upset with for his absolutely ridiculous slowing down while running home (and ultimately getting thrown out instead of scoring the tying run) refused to comment on it.  Way to step up, Coco. (Although, I’ll take the two hits from last night, thanks!)

Speaking of hits, Sox took advantage of the lowly Mr Lee and had 17 of them last night.  Let’s keep those bats hot against the DRays, fellas.

Royals finally cooperated by kicking Yankee butt.  So the Sox are back up 7.5 games, and the Yankees are down 7 in the loss column.  Yankees and Orioles have that funky ‘end one game and then playing an entire game’ thing going on tonight, so there’s a lot of baseball to be had in Baltimore.

In our neck of the woods, we have Wakefield, Lester and Matsuzaka going against Hammel, Shields and Kazmir.  Then there’s a day off before I’m back at Fenway on the dreaded day of the trading deadline.

I was at Fenway on July 3oth last year.  The rumors that spread around that place sucked the fun right out of the game.   The Angels kicking the Red Sox with 16 hits and 10 runs didn’t help either.  Oh well, that won’t happen this  year! 

So good vibes to Timmy and our bats tonight.  The guys might be a little tired, but I’m sure they’ll come through!

Have a great Friday folks! 

July 27, 2007 Posted by | Now THAT'S what I'm talking about! | 8 Comments

Let’s try this again

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Photo from Yahoo! Sports

New day, new attitude.

Beckett pitched possibly his best game of the season and still lost.  They can’t continue to do that, right?

So it’s on to Kason tonight against Cliff Lee.

Kick ass.  Take names.  All that stuff, fellas. 

(Just read comments here from last night/this morning, and elsewhere on the internet.  Seriously, if folks are getting nervous after one loss – a loss that followed a five-game winning streak – I don’t even know what to say.  It was a crappy loss, but Josh pitched great.  They’re going to lose some…you can’t get nervous when the team gets shut down by great pitching.  It was bad luck that both teams had two pitchers so on their game on the same nights.  Shit happens folks, jeez!) 

July 26, 2007 Posted by | Positive Vibes | 3 Comments

Tit for Tat

The Indians waste a perfectly good CC Sabathia outing last night, so the Red Sox decide to return the favor tonight.

If I was Josh Beckett, I’d punch every one of my teammates dead in the face tonight. Coco twice.

But I’m a little cranky tonight so maybe that’s just me.

The actual loss pisses me off less than the team wasting a great game by Josh. If Josh pitched poorly that would be one thing. If the score was 18-2, I’d say ‘meh, it happens’. But there’s no way this team should lose a game like this and it annoys the hell out of me. Special shout out to Tito for sitting Mike Lowell and Julio Lugo tonight. Good call.

Luckily, we have a new, matured Josh Beckett and I’m sure he’ll say all the right things (albeit in the most colorful way!) in his post-game interview (Which I’ll most likely miss first-run. The only thing I hate more than the Fenway Faithful singing "Sweet Caroline" in the middle of a Sox loss, is watching the post-game show after a loss. ) and I’m proud of him for that. Not only has he stepped up his pitching from last year, but he’s a more mature teammate, always willing to give credit where it is due and not place blame anywhere but on himself. I told someone the other night that he’s slowly becoming one of my ‘binkies’. So that explains why I’m especially pissy about this loss. I’ll get over it in an hour of so. (I write all this and then I’ll find out in the morning he lost it on his teammates tonight!)

As an aside, I absolutely believe the Red Sox are a superior team to the Yankees. So someone explain to me why it is that the Royals kicked their asses but look like little leaguers next to the Yanks right now?

I shouldn’t be so grumpy. A five-game streak is nothing to sneeze at and this is merely a bump in the road. Can’t win ’em all and all that. Truth is, as I’ve been writing this, I’m less grumpy. Gotta love the pitching we have right now. Kason will right things tomorrow night.

I need a pick-me-up. I’m going to watch me some Jesse L Martin on You Tube!

July 26, 2007 Posted by | My kingdom for some run support | Leave a comment

Pitching Nirvana

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Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports
Last night was one of those games where it never occurred to me (after the Sox scored that first run) that the Sox weren’t going to win.  I had no worries – I just figured it was going to work itself out and the Sox were going to roll to another win.  And I was right.  Good times.  🙂

Daisuke started off shaky and ended strong.  Picking up his 12th win, he really kicked into gear last night.  Sabathia had a really good outing as well, but the Indians couldn’t capitalize on it.  I’m so impressed with the pitching and, in spite of the one run last night, the offense picking it up while Papi is on the bench.  Well, Papi is back tonight and I’m hoping for, at the very least, a series win

The Yankees aren’t cooperating, by the great part is that it doesn’t matter what the Yankees are doing as long as the Sox are winning.  Spit into the wind, Yanks, have at it.  I’ll take the continued 7.5 game lead in the division.

Beckett on the mound against Fausto Carmona tonight, so there’s likely another pitching duel in our future.  Bring it on.

 

July 25, 2007 Posted by | Pitchers | 16 Comments

Mike Timlin wants you to chill!

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Found this over at southofboston.com.  A story about how there’s no panic in the Red Sox clubhouse after the losing streak the end of the All Star break brought.  Interesting quotes by my man Mike about all you nervous nellies in Red Sox Nation:

"When I came here in 2003, everyone expected us to go to the playoffs and we did,” he said. “You had to retell people in 2004, that it’s a positive energy thing. They have to think positively. They’ve done it; they have to do it again.Don’t go to the end and think we’re going to drop the ball. That’s negative. People have got to be positive.”

He’s terribly hippyish (new age-ish?) for a hunting, elder statesmanly, badass, no?  Gotta love it!

I love that he embraces the entire ‘theme’ of my blog, hell of my fandom.  Project the positive energy people, and good things can happen! 

Four game winning streak, 7.5 games up in the division…let’s embrace it folks – and ENJOY it!

 (As an aside, last night extended Mike’s scoreless streak to 16-innings.  The LONGEST in his CAREER.  Way to go, Mike!)

July 24, 2007 Posted by | Mike Timlin | 8 Comments

Julian to Jon

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Jon Lester pitched a really good game.  How wonderful for his first game back to go so well!  Can’t wait to see the next one.

With that in mind, I think Julian Tavarez deserves a special mention.  Here’s a guy who knew he was a ‘temp’ and accepted that graciously.  Any time someone mentioned Lester to him, his response was to say that he was holding his spot for him.  How many major leaguers would admit that?  When he was pitching well, he still said he couldn’t wait for Jon to be called up.  Well the day came, and Julian handled it with class.

 

You’ve gotta be realistic. They made the right move. I’m happy about it. I’m with the team today. I was in the pen. I enjoyed my day. I will enjoy my days every day, as long as I have the uniform.’’

That’s the way, Julian.  We saw him warming up in the bullpen while Jon was on the mound.  Timlin ended up coming in, but it was good to see Tavarez step up into his new position right away.  Who knows what’ll be happening come July 31st?  Right now, Julian is the consummate teammate and we’re damn fortunate to have him on our team. 

July 24, 2007 Posted by | Good Guys | 2 Comments

The, “I’m here I’m here” Live Blog!

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Looking for a pic of Jon I found this one – the photo Jon brought me last September – ESPN linked to it for "Uni Watch" back in March. Go figure.
Okay, I got in right on time…just saw the Lesters on tv…luckily it’s an away game so I didn’t miss Jon’s first pitch.

It’s been a while since I live-blogged, so I’m sure I’ll be rusty.  Bear with me.  🙂

7:08 – Jake Westbrook’s first pitch to Coco is a strike.  Here’s hoping Dale’s theory about strikes to start the game is wrong tonight! 

7:09 – NICE Coco gets a hit the other way.  Good way to begin things.  Keep it up Pedroia. 

I’m very happy to see Jon back, but I have to disagree with the prevailing attitude around the Nation that it doesn’t matter whether or not he wins the game.  It’s an amazing story, and regardless of how he does personally, it’s still a great story.  But I want to win this game.  There, I said it.

7:12 – Pedroia hits a single and we have two on to bring up Youk.  Just the way I like it. 

7:14 – Youk walks.  I’m becoming fond of Jake Westbrook. 

7:16 – Manny shuts up the booers and knocks in two runs with a double!!!!!!!  (Okay,  maybe he didn’t shut up the booers, but no matter!)  2-0 Sox, baby!  No outs and JD Drew up.

 7:18 – PILE IT ON!!!!  JD knocks Youk in!!!!  Sox up 3-0 with still no outs.  Take that all you JD Drew haters! 😀

I worry that Jon will need this lead.   

7:20 – Mike Lowell hits into a double play yet knocks Manny in.  4-0 Sox/2 outs.  RSC’s Player of the Week is up.

7:22 – Apparently, the "W" in Westbrook stands for ‘walks’.  Captain walks to bring up Eric Hinske.

7:23 – Not being able to stand prosperity, Hinske grounds out.  NESN is keeping the camera on Jon as he comes out and they, of course, show his parents as they cut back to him and then to commercial.  Now, I’m as emotional about this as anyone, but there comes a point when we have to get off Jon’s back and just let him pitch.

7:26 – Let’s go, Jon.  First pitch strike.  (Woo-hoo, it was!)

7:27 – 1-2 to Grady.  Knock him out, Jon. 

7:27b – Sizemore hits the ball, pretty much right to Youk.  1 out. 

7:29 – Jason Michaels strikes out swinging and we get the reaction shot of the Lesters.  Please, NESN, you’re killing me.

7:30 – Casey Blake gets a hit to left field.  Way to screw up our plans, Casey.

 7:31 – I’ve seen Jon pitch a couple of times this year (in person and on tv), if it’s possible, he seems to be more comfortable right now than when I saw him.  Hope that’s a good sign.  Now get Pronk out so we can all take a break, Jon.

7:32 – Well done, right to Coco.  4-0 Sox at the end of 1.

7:35 – Maxwell points out the home plate umpire squeezing both Lester and Westbrook in the comments, have to say that I agree.  What the heck, eh?

7:36 – Okay, we know this is emotional, we know this is remarkable, I agree on both counts, but, really NESN, you don’t have to beat us to death with this, we already know it.

7;36b – Coco hits it to left center and is standing on second with one out.  I’ll take it.

7:37 – Pedroia makes what they call an unproductive out.  Two away.

7:38 – Oh for the love of God stop showing the Lesters.  If they wanted to be on tv, they’d be doing interviews.  Leave the folks alone, NESN.

7:39 – YOOOOOUK!  Base hit to bring Crisp home!!!  5-0 Sox.  Were those boos or ‘Youuuks’?

7:40 – I don’t usually like to see a pitcher get hammered, but I want it tonight.  Pile, pile, pile, boys. 

7:41 – Manny has a 1-2 count.  Come on, Manny, commence to piling on. 

7:42 – Strike three called as Manny tried walking to first.  Lovely. 5-0 Sox.

7:44- Lots of Lester signs in the stands…

7:45 – At least Don and Jerry are being realistic about Lester’s pitching last year.  How many of us remember all the men on base and then his pitching his way out of trouble?  

7:46 – Jon hits Donnie Darko, er, Ryan Garko with no outs and Jhonny Peralta up… 

7:47 – Double play…nice way to take advantage of hitting a guy…

7:48 – A Trot sighting!!! Of course, in the dugout since he’s ‘resting’ today…

7:49 – Ah, bored with Lester Don and Jerry have moved on to Trot…

7:50 – Jon shook Tek off twice on that last pitch before he struck out Gutierrez.  He best not be making a habit of that.  End of 2, Sox 5, Indians 0.

7:53 – Donnie Darko makes a great stop and JD Drew is out.

7:54 – Man, Lowell gets a hit but was almost robbed of it.  Nice try Indians guy.

7:55 – When you call a hit and run it helps if the batter hits the ball, no?  Goodbye Mike Lowell.

7:56 – Tek walks again.  Westbrook looks so happy in his photo on Game Day.

7:58 – Eric Hinkse walks as well.  Two on, two out and Jakey looks less happy than in his Game Day photo.

7:59 – Lugo leaves them stranded…oh well.

8:02 – Kelly Shoppach versus Jon Lester…2-2…

8:03 – Shoppach is Lester’s third strike out.   Very nice!

8:05 – Coco couldn’t get to it so Josh Barfield is on first with one out.

8:06 – Oh that wasn’t good.  Grady Sizemore just went yard, baby.  5-2 with one out…and now two outs…

8:09 – Jon walks Casey Blake on four pitches with Pronk up next…. 

8:12 – And Pronk strikes out!  5-2 Boston at the end of the third! 

8:17 – Woo-hoo, Coco gets the single!!! And now Tina C has Jon’s parents on…his mom looks really emotional, they don’t look very happy to be doing it.  Can’t say that I blame them.

8:21 – Double play.  Oh Dustin…

8:22 – Jake Westbrook now has attitude.  5-2 Sox going into Cleveland’s fourth.

8:23 – Just remembered that Clemens is pitching against the Royals tonight.  

8:25 – Lester has 50 pitches coming into this inning.  And now Donnie Darko is up and hits one off the wall for a double.

8:29 – Jhonny has a full count…Come onJon, settle down.  Crap.  He walked him.  Psychotic. Two on, no outs.

8:31 – Jon has 4 strikeouts thus far.  Not too shabby for his return, eh?

8:32 – Crap.  3-1 count.  Jerry is saying that his shoulder is flying open.  He has said this about pitchers before and I always had a tough time seeing it.  Oddly enough, I picked it right up with Jon.  Not happy, baby.

8:33 – Julian Tavarez is up in the bullpen.  He has become a player I won’t pick on.  Dude is all about the team and you can’t say anything better than that about him.  Thank you for everything, Yo-Yo, we love ya!

8:34 – WOOO!  Fifth strike out on Gutierrez!   Yeah, baby!!

8:36 – I could do with a double play here boys.  This 2-0 count won’t do.

8:37 – Shoppach v Lester and on four pitches Jon loads the bases.  Chill the hell out, Jon.

8:38 – Man he’s throwing them high.

8:38b – Back at Lester and he throws Donnie Darko out at home after bobbling the ball.  Well, at least there’s two outs and no one scored, but the bases are still loaded with Grady Sizemore coming up.  😦 

8:41 – Yeah, let’s show Jon’s parents agonizing over him being ‘in trouble’, that’s good television.   /sarcasm

8:42 – Wow.  Grady just swung at quite the crappy pitch.  Nice work, Jon!  5-2 at the end of four.  Flashbacks to last season when it felt like Jon did that in every one of his outings. 

8:43 – The Kansas City feed looks like something out of the 1970s…what the hell?  Either that or it’s really foggy in Kansas City.

8:45 – Ah Cleveland fans never forget Manny.  🙂

8:47 – Manny hits it off the wall which, of course, means he’s only on first base.  Jerry is not happy.

8:49 – So, of course, JD hits into a double play.  Jerry won’t be letting Manny walking to first go.

8:50 – And that ends that. 5-2 bottom of the fifth.

8:52 – Jon back on the mound.  6 strikeouts thus far on 77 pitches.  Come on Jon, you really only have to get through one more inning (though I’d prefer more…)

8:53 – Well that was fun.  Youk catches the foul pop up…

8:54 – Casey Blake is up…he worries me…

8:55 – But he doesn’t worry Coco.  2 outs.

8:57 – Pronk pops up, 1-2-3 inning for Jon.  5-2 at the end of five.

8:59 – Cap’n is up.  Ooh, they’re showing the sunset, preeety.  (I’m a fool for the sky!)  Tek is out.  That was quick.

9:00 – Hinske tried to kill Donnie Darko with his bat, to no avail, thankfully.

9:04 – Hinske makes the second out/Lugo gets a hit…here comes Covelli!

9:07 – Well that was fruitless.

9:11 – One down for Jon in the 6th.

9:12 – Jhonny Peralta is Jon’s mortal enemy now.  Hits one to center.  One on, one out, Tavarez and Lopez up in the bullpen.

9:13 – Double play, baby!!!!! 5-2 after six!  Way to go, Jon!

9:16 – Everyone say good night to Jakey and hello to Jensen Lewis.

9:17 – "Mike Timlin is up by himself" , this seems to make Donnie O very excited.  Jon’s thrown 96 pitches.  Good chance he isn’t coming back out.

9:19 – Noticing lots of hits for "Jon Lester Shirts" bringing folks here tonight.  I still have a handful of K Cancer shirts if folks are interested.  One of the ‘issues’ is the number on the shirt is 62 not 31.  I’m not actively selling them any longer out of respect for Jon’s wishes for everyone to move past the cancer, so tonight will be the last time I mention it.

9:20 – While I rambled, Pedroia hit a single.  Let’s go Youk. 

9:21 – Nice.  Bring in the new pitcher, get two hits off of him.  Good work, fellas.

9:24 – Manny strikes out looking and the Cleveland fans, they are happy. 

9:25 – JD makes the second out.  So is Jon coming out for the seventh or is it Timlin? 

9:26 – Mike Lowell is up with a 1-1 count.  Come on Mr Double! 

9:28 – A popup to Grady Sizemore isn’t what I was hoping for Mike.  Looks like Jon is staying on the bench, bring on my man Mike Timlin! 

9:30 – Congratulations to Jon Lester on his return!  6 innings, 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts on 96 pitches (55 for strikes).  Way to come back strong, Jon!

9:32 – Here comes my man Mike.  Starting off with a 3-0 count.  Cut it out, Mike.

9:33 – Crisp gets the first out for Mike.  Between this year and last, Mike owes Coco a lifetime of special favors.

9:34 – Two outs on a pop-up and Grady goes after the first pitch and pops it up!  Still 5-2 to end the 7th.

9:38 – Jason Stanford is in for Cleveland to face the Captain.

9:38b – Hey the Royals got a run!

9:39 – Don Orsillo was born the same year as me.  For what that’s worth.  🙂 

9:40 – Sox already have two outs.  Time flies when you’re having fun.

9:40b – Well Casey Blake almost killed himself doing it, but he caught Lugo’s pop up.  5-2 Sox, Indians’ 8th.

9:43 – Pardon me while I’m chickie for a minute:  I love Mike Timlin’s jawline.  Okay, I’m done.

9:46 – Mike and his jaw strike out Michaels.  Woot!!!  Here comes Casey Blake to be mowed down by Mike.

9:48 – Or  not.  Since being on first isn’t being mowed down.  Cyn you suck.  Tito is taking Mike out and bringing in Javier Lopez.  I give Tito credit for not wasting time.  Get these guys out, end this game soon.

9:51 – Maxwell called it in the comments earlier.  CB Buckner is behind home plate and, basically, everyone hates his calls.       

9:53 – Tito takes out Javier after he does his job.  2 outs and Little Manny is on his way. 

9:58 – Three pitchers struck out three batters.  Okay, I’ll take it.  5-2 Sox after 8. 

10:02 – Yay!  Coco on second! 

10:03 – Wild pitch or passed ball?  Either way, Coco is on third with no outs and a 2-1 count on Pedroia.

10:04 – Passed ball.

10:05 – Pedroia gets a hit and Coco scores!  6-2! 

10:08 – Tom Mastny is in and we hear the "Let’s Go Red Sox" chant in Cleveland!!

10:10 – Mastny strikes out Youk but we’re still hearing the Sox chants.

10:13 – Manny helps make this an entirely too long ninth inning.  Men on first and second with one out and JD up.

10:22 – Sox half over, Little Manny has two outs…almost time for bed.  🙂 

10:23 – Shot of Lester in the dugout looking very relaxed.  Nice to see.

10:24 – Little Manny has a 1-2 count…

10:24b – The six year-old yells "Yes!  The Red Sox win, the Red Sox win!!!" so I guess that’s the end of the game!

Nicely done Jon…and the rest of the team.  Nice win.  Great night. 

 

July 24, 2007 Posted by | Live Blog | 10 Comments